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The HeatTrak Homeowner Blog

5 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Snow Without Shoveling

5 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Snow Without Shoveling
5 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Snow Without Shoveling

Let’s just cut to the chase: Shoveling snow sucks. It’s’s’s exhausting. Sure, it’s technically “good exercise,” but if we’re all being real here, the negatives definitely outweigh the positives when it comes to manually shoveling snow.

Many Americans will resort to this method to remove snow from their driveway, but there are actually a ton of different techniques out there to get the white stuff out of the way, and guess what? They don’t require neanderthalic strength. Read on for 5 ways to get rid of snow without busting out the plastic shovel.

  1. Lay down a tarp

Your neighbors are gonna think you’re crazy. Crazy smart that is. All you need for the “tarp method” is a large, plastic tarp that you can find in the camping section of almost any hardware store. Before the anticipated snowfall, lay your tarp down on your driveway and just…”let it snow.”  All you’ll need to do is pull the tarp away from the driveway to reveal a clear pathway. Everyone will be, like, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”

  1. Use a leaf blower

Is that leaf blower of yours collecting dust during the winter season? Why not put it to good use and blow the snow off your driveway? Keep in mind, this will only work on the fluffy, fresh stuff, nevertheless, it’s a whole lot better than shoveling. You could even say it “blows” the shovel out of the water. You knew that one was coming, right?

  1. Invest in a heated driveway

Not so much a snow removal method as a “preventative measure,” heated driveways are becoming more and more popular these days, especially in the northern, snow-prone states. The next time you get a new driveway, try upgrading to a “heated driveway” that has an electrical circuit underneath the surface. The cost to run a heated driveway is about 28 cents per hour for every 100 square feet, which isn’t so bad, especially if it means you’ll never have to shovel your walk...ever...again.

  1. Roll it

Did you know that if snow is firm enough, it can be rolled like a Fruit-Rollup? All you need to do is create a “log” of snow, then start pushing it, lifting the packed snow as you go. This method is definitely not for the couch potato, but if you’re strong and able, it can actually be pretty fun!

  1. Sweep it

Channel your inner Snow White and whisk away that snow with a sweep of your broomstick. This method is great for walkways and smaller driveways covered in a light, fluffy layer of snow. Use a straw broom or heavy-duty push broom for best results. Oh, and don’t be surprised if a song bird randomly lands on your finger.

  1. Use a snow blower

Otherwise known as the “lazy man’s method,” a snow blower is basically like a lawn mower for snow. Genius? We think yes. It can cut your snow removal time down exponentially, plus, it’s easy and fun to use. Snow blowers can be a bit expensive, but so many people swear by this nifty, swift machine. You might even start plowing your neighbors driveways just for fun.

How to Get Your Roof Ready for Snow

How to Get Your Roof Ready for Snow

How to Get Your Roof Ready for Snow

Winter might be the most wonderful time of year, but it can do a number on your home. One area that’s hit particularly hard by cold, snowy weather is the roof. Is yours prepared for another season of snow and ice?

The best time of year to prepare your roof for winter is in the fall, before the long cold season is upon us. Start with the tips below. The more you can do to prepare, the fewer problems you’ll encounter when the snowy season finally begins.  

  1. Clean Your Gutters

Fall is when you can expect your gutter system to become clogged with leaves and debris. Clogged gutters cause water to back up in the gutters and spill over the troughs. This can be damaging to your roof and siding any time of the year, but is of special concern during the freeze and thaw cycles of winter.

The more often you clean your gutters the better your roof will withstand the winter elements. To prevent clogged gutters in the first place, consider gutter screens or guards. 

  1. Clean Debris

In addition to your gutters, debris needs to be cleaned from the surface of your roof. Small pieces hold moisture, especially during the winter, and can cause the roof to mold or, worse, rot. That’s an expensive repair you don’t want to face.

The best way to clean your roof is to get up there with a broom or blower. You’ll want to pay attention to the roof’s valleys and dips, where debris and water are more likely to collect. If you’re inexperienced in climbing on roofs, it’s best to leave this task to a roofing expert. 

  1. Prepare Your Insulation

One area people don’t think about when it comes to their roof is insulation. Insulation is what keeps cold air out and warm air inside. If you don’t have adequate insulation in your attic, you’ll be letting the warm air escape, driving up energy costs.

In addition, if it doesn’t have proper insulation, your roof—and even your home—will likely suffer moisture damage. This can be expensive to fix, and could be catastrophic if your roof begins to develop mold or rot. The best way to guard against this possibility is to hire an insulation expert to check your attic insulation on a yearly basis in preparation for winter. 

  1. Look for Roof Damage

Now that your roof is clean and clear, it’s time to look for problems and damage. If you notice any shingles that have cracked edges, you’ll want to fix these right away. Winter weather can compromise the integrity of your roof, so make sure it’s strong and in working order.

The most important areas to check are around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights. These areas are most likely to experience problems that could result in leakage.

Keep Your Roof Safe in the Winter

Snow and ice add a lot of stress to your roof, so don’t wait for winter before taking steps to keep it safe. Fall is when you want to make sure everything is ready for the season ahead. The best action is preventative action, so take the above tips seriously.

How to Melt a Huge Pile of Snow Fast

How to Melt a Huge Pile of Snow Fast

How to Melt a Huge Pile of Snow Fast

You’ve just gone outside only to see a huge pile of snow pushed up against the apron of your driveway. More than an inconvenience, this exasperating situation might also be a safety hazard. But, how did all this snow get there in the first place? Most likely, it was pushed there by a large snow plow.

While we love how quickly snow plows clear our roadways, we could live without the driveway blockades. So, before you reach for the snow shovel to dig yourself out, read through this guide on how to melt a huge pile of snow fast. 

Option 1: Hot Water

The easiest option is to use hot water. Think back to summertime for a moment. What happens to ice cream on a hot day? It melts pretty immediately. The same is true of that big pile of snow in your driveway when you douse it with hot water.

The fastest way to cover the snow in hot water is with a hose. Connect a hose to a faucet, turn hot water on full blast, and spray the pile until it melts. This should only take a few minutes, and you’ll be left with only a puddle.

After your snow is reduced to a puddle, you’ll want to make sure you cover it with a mixture of ice melter and sand to prevent the water from freezing into ice. This is the same method used on roadways to keep them from getting icy. 

Option 2: Ice Melter

An ice melter (de-icer) is a professional mixture used to melt ice quickly. If you have some on hand, you can use it instead of hot water. Ice melter is a mix of calcium chloride and sodium chloride, and it will cut through snow instantly.

Apply it liberally to your snow pile according to the directions that came with the mixture. Ice melter is a great product to have on hand in the winter, and it will prevent water from freezing later, as temperatures drop. 

Option 3: Contact a Professional

Finally, if the snow pile is too large to remove on your own, contact a professional. If the City’s snow plow is what caused the pile in front of your driveway, the City should have someone you can call to get it removed free of charge.

If your local snow plow is consistently leaving snow piles on your property, it might be worth talking to your local leaders. While snow plowing is necessary, it’s also important for your community to as be hazard-free as possible.

Bonus: Plan Ahead for Next Time

Ultimately, the best thing you can do to prevent snow-plow snow piles on your driveway is to take some preventative steps. If you live in a region that’s prone to snowstorms, keep your eye on the weather. 

The next time you are aware that snow is heading your way, use a shovel or a snow blower to clear a space to the left side of your driveway. Make sure this area is at least 10 feet long and a car width wide. This way, when the plow makes its way down your street, the snow will get pushed into this open area rather than in your driveway. It’s not a perfect science, but it works. 

Keep Your Driveway Clear

Keeping your driveway clear of snow piles during the winter months can sometimes seem like a full-time job. However, you don’t have to let them get you down. While you might want to invest in a snow blower or ice melter that will get the job done quickly, there are DIY solutions such as hot water that work just as well to melt that snow.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you find yourself facing a pile of snow in your driveway or on your property. The ideas above will have you on your way in no time.