(StatePoint) Keeping your property maintained during and after a snowfall is crucial. But handle snow and ice safely, as some of the risk involved comes from the removal process itself. Manually shoveling after a heavy snowfall can be dangerously strenuous.
Opting for a snowblower can help you avoid risk, as well as get the job done faster. If you have a larger area to clear, you’ll especially want to consider motorizing your snow removal efforts.
To help ensure a safe winter for you, your family and your guests, here are some considerations to make when dealing with snow:
•• Prevent: An ounce of prevention goes a long way. So if you’re expecting a major snowfall, consider salting before the first flake falls.
•• Don’t wait: Keep up with the snowfall. Most of the time, it’s easier and faster to clear six inches of snow twice than 12 inches of snow once.
•• Use the right gear: Not all snowblowers are the same, so purchase a machine that’s ideal for your property. Factors such as the type of surface and size of the space you’re clearing, as well as how much and what type of snow you’re expecting all should be considered. For a free online tool that can help you identify the right snowblower for you, visit www.Toro.com.
•• Make it painless: Don’t fight the wind. Whenever possible, point a snow blower’s chute downwind so that the wind helps you blow the snow. It’s usually easier to move up and down the length of a driveway, not perpendicular. In strong crosswinds, start on the upwind side and then work downwind.
•• Think ahead: Throw snow as far into your yard as possible. Throwing snow only to the edge of a driveway or walkway will lead to high snow banks and make it more difficult to remove snow during the next snowstorm.
•• Be safe: Read and understand your operator’s manual before getting started. As you would with a lawn mower, inspect the area first and remove objects which might be picked up and thrown by the snowblower. Keep children and pets far away.
•• Be body smart: Toiling away outdoors can be hard on your body, especially for older people. So give your heart and back regular breaks so you don’t overdo it. Stay hydrated and don’t overdress or you’ll quickly be soaked from sweat.
•• Shop smart: Ensure you get your money’s worth by opting for a brand that offers money back in the event of a less snowy winter.
This winter, be ready to keep your home maintained, no matter what the weather blows your way.