It wouldn’t be winter in Canada without snow — but while it can bring fun, it can also wreak havoc on your home and vehicle. From shoveling tips to driving checklists, Canadian Tire and Yahoo are bringing you everything you need to conquer the snowy season.
Living in a cold climate like Canada comes with certain responsibilities. One of the main ones during the winter? Not letting your home or car get buried in snow.
And while we’d rather be taking advantage of the fun that snow brings, it’s important to remove snow from areas where it can be hazardous. After that, it’s all about the fun stuff like snow angels and tobogganing.
Snow removal can be an arduous and physical job but it can certainly be made easier by having a strategy and the right tools. Check out these tips to remove snow in a fraction of the time while keeping you safe and comfortable.
Maintain proper shovelling form
You’ve likely heard this before, but maybe from a personal trainer or coach -- but this advice is also applicable to shovelling snow. Ice and snow are heavy elements so you want to bend your knees and lift with your legs, not your back. We also encourage stretching before and after shovelling to get your muscles warmed up.
Get a quality shovel
When selecting a shovel, it’s important to know what to look for. You want to look for a quality, well-made shovel, like the ones carried at Canadian Tire, to avoid any trouble down the road. And remember, the largest shovel isn’t always the best option, as it can result in back pain down the line.
You can avoid the act of perpetual bending and lifting by investing in a well designed ergonomic shovel. The unique shape allows you to push large amounts of snow to the side without putting strain on your body.
Shovel early and shovel often
Trust us when we say you should tackle a mole hill before it becomes Mount Everest. It’s tempting to leave it until the snow is done falling, but it will be much easier to conquer if you shovel small amounts of snow often. If you’re shovelling an area that gets frequent foot or vehicle traffic start before anyone’s had a chance to walk on it., since packed snow is harder to shovel than freshly fallen snow.
Manage snow and ice with ice melter
Many people turn to rock salt to keep their sidewalks and driveways ice free, but salt can be damaging to concrete, plants and pose a threat to wildlife and household pets. Alternatively, ice melt is becoming a popular choice because it works faster to melt ice and snow and is safer to use around animals.
The best way to use ice melt is to apply it before and during a snowfall. The great thing about a product like Alaskan Premium Ice Melt is that as you apply it, it forms a brine so ice doesn’t bond to a surface. This makes it infinitely easier to shovel snow and ice away later.
Direct snow away from your home’s foundation
You just want to get the job done so you can go inside and enjoy hot chocolate with your family. We completely understand, but a quick snow removal can result in future damage to your home.
When shovelling snow, you’ll want to be sure to direct it away from your home. As snow melts, water can easily work its way into any cracks in your home and cause major damage, so ensuring your home’s foundation is clear can save you a major headache down the road.
Turn to a snowblower
There’s no shame in trading in a shovel for a snow blower if it makes sense for you. If you have a large property or if your region tends to get heavy snow throughout the winter months, a snowblower is a logical solution.
If you’re looking to invest, it’s important to figure out what type of snowblower works for your property. Gas snowblowers offer more power but require regular maintenance while electric snowblowers can’t manage heavy snowfall, but are more compact and easier to maintain. Consider your terrain, as well, because some snowblowers may not work as well on uneven or gravelly areas.
Luckily, Canadian Tire has a large selection of top-rated, quality snowblowers to suit whatever needs you have. Check out their full selection here.
Work smarter, not harder
Whether you stick with a shovel or upgrade to a snowblower, go out there with a plan. Think about where the snow will wind up and whether you’re doing things efficiently.
For example, shovelling piles of snow along the perimeter of your driveway doesn’t make the most sense. Instead, shovel snow further away, ideally on the front yard, so it doesn’t just fall back into the driveway or get pushed in after another big snow fall.
Lastly, don’t forget to work with the wind, not against it — we promise your snow removal experience will be much more enjoyable!