From digging out your car to insulating your home, here are tips and snow removal tricks to make life easier after a blizzard.
When the weather outside is frightful, take steps to make snow removal easier. Photo: Scott SM, Flickr
After being buried in the blizzard of 2010, residents of the Northeast are once again preparing to dig themselves out of as much as 1-2 feet of snow
. Meanwhile, much of the Southeast is still iced over
from a chilling winter storm that slammed the region on Sunday and Monday. In the midst of all this frightful winter weather
, here are tips to make life during the big dig easier to manage.
Sidewalks and Stairs
Without a doubt, the sun makes for the best snow melter. Get out early and shovel sidewalks and stairs so that post-blizzard sunlight can warm up the pavement beneath. Doing this will prevent ice from forming and slippery walks. Salt-based compounds like Blizzard Wizard
and Driveway Heat
can also help melt icy patches. Apply overnight to prevent melting snow from refreezing. Be careful not to over apply de-icers, as these products can corrode sidewalks and damage plants.
Photo: Chimothy27, Flickr
Make your mailman's life easier and cut a trail for him to swing closer to the mailbox.
If snow has covered the fire hydrant on your street, take the time to clear it and the surrounding area. This will enable firefighters to locate the hydrant easily in case of an emergency.
Trash and Recycling
Unlike the picturesque snow fall
depicted in holiday cards, snow storms usually include howling wind. And when wind howls, it blows stuff around such as trash can lids and snow drifts. If trash day is coming up, you don't want to drag a load of snow to the curb that will blow in your face, soak your garbage, make it heavy or leak sludge on your clothes when carrying the can. Avoid this by shoveling the snow off the top of trash cans and recycle bins.
Prepare for Snowbanks
As clean as you make your driveway, there's a good chance a city plow will deposit a snowbank in front of it no matter what. Try shoveling a small track for your car's wheels so you can get in and out of your driveway easily. Also, position the car in the driveway so that the back faces your house. This way you'll have a clear view as you navigate the snow bank.
Brush snow off cars and make sure to clear the snow off car roofs. This will prevent potential accidents caused by huge slabs of snow flying off your car roof when traveling on the highway. A push-broom
will make the job easy and sweep off the snow in a few minutes. Some push brooms have metal brackets around the bristle head. To keep from scratching vehicles, wrap duct tape around this material to help protect your car's paint.
The easiest things to mangle when cleaning snow from the car are the wipers. To clean more efficiently, fold them back from the windshield before
the snow falls. This will make cleaning the car after the storm much easier. If you forget, make sure the wipers are de-iced from the glass before turning them on. Doing this will protect the rubber blades.
Turn Off the Water
If you haven't turned off the water supply to your outside hoses, a foot of snow should serve as a pretty good reminder that you shouldn't wait anymore. The dangers of not turning off the water include frozen pipes that break or bend from the ice buildup.
Seal Your Windows and Doors
A snow storm's high winds can find its way through cracks and crevices in your house, so make sure to seal those openings with weatherstripping
. This will keep your home warm and reduce your heating bills. Also, check the bottoms of doors (especially in old houses) to see if there is a gap beneath the bottom of the door sweep and the floor. If there is one present, get a new sweep or adjust the one that's there now.