7 Snow Shoveling Lessons No One Ever Taught You

Dig the snow shovel out of storage and rev up the snow blower—seasonal snows are on the way this winter. Prepare for heavy snowfall by learning a few new tricks for easier snow removal.

  1. Remove Snow While It's Falling

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    Don't Wait to Shovel Snow

    Expecting snow flurries throughout the weekend? Don't wait until Sunday night to break out the snow shovel, or you will make your work harder and invite injury. Instead, shovel snow as it lands on the driveway, as often as once every hour during heavy snowfall, for faster and safer removal. 


    Related: 10 Places You're Forgetting to Winter-Proof

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  2. Materials Matter

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    Different Snow Removal Tactics

    When choosing your snow removal tools and tactics, consider your driveway materials to avoid causing damage. Don't use rock salt on concrete, only calcium chloride, or you can exacerbate cracked or chipped walkways. Use plastic shovels on bricks and pavers, where metal blades would cause damage. When clearing snow from asphalt driveways, remember to keep shovel and snow blower blades at least a half inch off the ground to avoid chipping the driveway surface. Pay attention to how much power your snow removal tools are capable of providing: According to Troy-Bilt, single-stage snow throwers can handle up to 9-inches of snow, while two-stage snow throwers are designed for deeper and heavier snowfall.


    Related: 10 Surprising Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Ice and Snow

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  3. Hold the Shovel Close

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    Don't Overstretch When Shoveling Snow

    Snow shoveling is all-too-common cause of winter injury, but it doesn't have to be that way. Many injuries occur simply because the shoveler failed practice proper form while shoveling. To prevent injury, keep your shovel close to your body. This will prevent overreaching, which causes undue strain to your arms, shoulders, and back.  


    Related: The 8 Best Tools for Conquering Ice and Snow

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  4. Make Snowballs

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    Fun Way to Remove Snow

    If you think snow removal is boring, you've probably never tried this vlogger's life hack. Instead of shoveling away all that white, you (or your kids) can roll it into giant snowballs—and off your property. If you're considering this method of snow removal, know that not every snowfall lends itself to this technique. To get the ball rolling, you'll need a dense, wet, sticky snow. If your snow is dry and powdery, stick to using your snow shovel.


    Related: 23 Brilliant Hacks to Help You Weather Winter

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  5. Spray Liberally

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    Apply cooking spray to snow shovel

    If you've ever struggled to dislodge a heap of sticky snow from the end of your shovel, you need to remember this helpful hint. Before hitting the driveway, apply a generous coat of cooking spray to the front and back of your shovel blade. The lubricant will let snow slide right off the blade, making your job easier in the process.


    Related: The Gear You Need to Fight the Worst of Winter

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  6. Clean Your Hood First

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    Clean Car from Snow

    Before you even pull out the snow shovel and snowblower, address the snow that has gathered on your car roof, hood, and windows. Wipe or scrape it off your vehicle, then start shoveling, otherwise you'll only make a mess of a freshly cleared driveway when you go to warm up your car.


    Related: 10 Things You Never Thought to Keep in Your Car

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  7. Have a plan

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    Shovel from the center out

    When shoveling snow, many homeowners start at the top of the driveway and work their way down. The problem with this technique is that the closer you get to the base of your driveway, the heavier your shovel will become—and heavy shovels lead to an increased risk of injury. For a lighter load, shovel from the center of your driveway and work your way out. By moving less snow at a time, you'll stay safer all season long.


    Related: 10 Accidents Waiting to Happen—And How to Stay Safe

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  8. Say It Ain't Snow

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    Snow Shoveling Tips

    Want more snow-clearing tips? You’ll be surprised that many items around the house work well for getting rid of snow and ice, which is especially useful if you ran out of ice melt. But if you’re dealing with a heavier snowfall, you’ll want to have the good gear on hand for taking care of the white stuff.

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  9. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!