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7 Easy Snow Shoveling Tips

Last Updated: December 9, 2021

7 Easy Snow Shoveling Tips

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Snow shoveling is one of the many headaches that come with the winter season. Snow and ice are hazardous if left unchecked. Small amounts of snow can build up quickly and pose threats to your property and convenience. Instead of battling the cold weather the hard way, we've complied a series of snow shoveling safety tips to make things easy and injury-free.

Snow removal can be incredibly challenging to deal with, especially in climates with incredibly cold temperatures around winter. Snow and ice are not to be take lightly. No need to worry. Our snow shoveling tips are guaranteed to help prevent injury and streamline the snow removal process.

Don't Shovel Snow Unprepared

Never shovel snow unprepared. Shoveling snow without a plan will cost you more than you might realize. As mentioned, there are numerous hazards to shoveling snow, some many won't even consider. Sudden exertion and wet snow are two common hazards many people don't even consider before they start shoveling.

Beware of a Heart Attack

The National Safety Council states 100 deaths and over 11,000 serious injuries are caused every year by improper snow shoveling. This may not sound like a massive number, yet you could easily be part of the statistic. Heart Attacks are quite common with snow shoveling, in fact.

“Snow shoveling is very similar to being at ‘peak exercise’ on a stress test, so it puts a lot of strain on your heart,” says Cardiologist Luke Laffin. “And for someone who isn’t used to actually exercising and being physically fit, it can predispose them to heart attacks.”

If you are someone with a history of heart disease or high blood pressure, proper snow shoveling techniques are crucial.

Planning ahead is the best way to deal with snow and ice on your property. The more you plan out, the better. To help you better prepare, consider the following seven snow shoveling tips to remove snow safely and efficiently.

7 Snow Shoveling Tips

There are seven distinct tips for snow shoveling as the first snowfall arrives. Pay attention to these tips; they can help prevent injury and help rid you of that troublesome white stuff before it gets too much to handle alone.

The more snow you have to deal with, the harder the removal will be. Don't get left out in the cold when shoveling snow. Read on, and get your snow cleared in no time.

Infographic detailing seven easy snow shoveling tips
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1. Support Your Back When Shoveling Snow

Many don't consider the health of their back when doing work like snow shoveling. Your back is a delicate body part. Too much stress on it could lead to serious injury. Bending with your back (which is common to do) is not the way to go.

It is recommended to bend with your knees and lift straight with your legs (not your back).

Also, try not to lift snow right away. Lifting too much snow too fast is dangerous and can risk injuring different muscles, or worse, breaking your back. Back breaks are easier to cause than you might think. Push snow on the ground, rather than lift to spare yourself major back pain in the future.

Consider pushing snow multiple times rather than trying to clear it all with one big lift. Remember to work with your legs, not your back.

2. Use a Snow Blower

A snow blower can be incredibly useful under certain conditions. Snow blowers are a heavy-duty way of clearing a lot of snow quickly. However, there are certain things to keep in mind before investing in a snow blower.

Snow blowers are best used for heavy snow clearing. If you live in a climate where snowfall in winter can get quite thick, a snow blower could be a great investment. However, if you live in a climate where snowfall is moderate on average, snow blowers aren't necessary.

Snow blowers are noisy and require fuel to work. Their bulkiness can also take up a lot of storage space. Snow blowers are useful only if you live in extremely snowy climates.

3. Layer Yourself with Warm Clothes

This cannot be emphasized enough; dress warmly! Mother nature can be unforgiving in deep winter; the cold temperatures can get to you quickly. Layer your body with as much warm clothing as necessary. If your area gets extremely cold, don't be a hero.

Staying warm is incredibly important to avoid hypothermia and other freeze-related complications. It is also recommended to never try and shovel snow during a winter storm. This should go without saying, yet you'd be surprised how many people try and brave a storm to protect their property.

4. Stay Hydrated to Prevent Physical Exertion

Hydration is critically important when shoveling snow. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and during your shoveling efforts. Physical activity can dehydrate a person quickly even in cold weather. In fact, many cold climates are also incredibly dry which hastens dehydration.

In short, do not forget to hydrate. The more you exert yourself, the quicker you will dehydrate.

5. Choose the Right Shovel

Choosing the right snow shovel can be tricky if you're inexperienced with shoveling snow. A snow shovel generally is made with two types of materials on the shovel blade: metal and plastic.

Shovels with metal blades are more appealing; metal has a higher quality reputation than plastic and are great for ice. In this case, however, a metal snow shovel blade may not be the way to go.

Plastic shovel blades are actually more effective, especially to prevent overexertion. The lighter weight is great for moderate snowfall. However, plastic shovels are more difficult to use if you have to scrape up ice as well. Keep your climate in mind when considering a snow shovel.

6. Consider Your Ice Melting Materials

If you live in climates where winter weather can get extreme, ice becomes just as much of a hassle to deal with as snow. Melting ice and snow can be done with certain materials, but be careful with what you use. Your driveway might not handle the materials you use depending on your driveway material.

Rock salt, for example, is a popular material to use to melt ice and remove snow. However, rock salt is bad to use on a concrete driveway. If your driveway is made of concrete, calcium chloride is better to use.

Think about where your driveway meets the sidewalk to ensure the materials you use to make ice melt doesn't damage the materials of the sidewalk.

7. Avoid Shoveling a Heavy Load

We all know those weekend warriors who try to rush their tasks to get them over with quickly. When it comes to shoveling snow, don't go the quick route. Instead, shovel lighter loads multiple times rather than one huge load at once.

Snow can build fast. Take time to prevent shoveling the same snow more than once.

One good strategy is to hold the shovel part close to your hands; you exert less energy when shoveling and lifting. This way you won't tire out too fast, and you won't break your back.

Beware of Snow Buildup with Roll Off Dumpsters

When renting a roll off dumpster during winter, be wary of snow buildup. Construction and demolition projects still have to continue despite the winter, yet snow and ice creates complications to debris disposal efforts. Make sure any snow/ice build up doesn't remain in the dumpster. The snow adds to the weight even when it melts. Some localities charge extra for water weight. Also, the shoveling tips mentioned here can also assist in keeping your dumpster clear from snow buildup around it.

There is no such thing as preparing too much for harsh winters. Don't take any chances. Prepare your shoveling tasks to stay ahead of Old Man Winter!

About Julian Drury

Julian Drury is a Content Specialist with Discount Dumpster, with a good array of knowledge on waste management topics. He has been writing since he was 10, and makes it his mission to present engaging and informational content for all readers who need waste management solutions.

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