No one wants to think about it. But it’s winter, and it’s coming. The snow is on its way, and it may even be here, depending on where you live. Yes, it’s pretty. But boy is it a pain to drive in. it makes you want to snuggle up under a blanket and have a cup of coffee. But you know that you are going to have to go out and shovel at some point. Yes, it would be nice to let it melt on its own. But it doesn’t work that way.
So here are some mistakes that you should avoid making when shoveling snow.
Not Using the Right Equipment
When you shovel snow the incorrect way, it’s not just time consuming and tiring, it also can be dangerous. It also can cause injuries, particularly if you aren’t using the right type of equipment.
Rather than purchasing a poor quality, cheap snow shovel which will make it hard to shower, get one that is good quality. These types of shovels won’t just last a lot longer and save you money on buying a new one, but it will make it a lot easier for you to shovel.
It’s a good idea to buy ones made of heavy aluminum. Look for one with a durable, strong handle and blade that isn’t really narrow or wide. This is going to help you with removing snow from your driveway and sidewalks quicker.
For light snowfalls and narrow passages, it might be worth it to get a C-blade or snow pusher rather thana big shovel.
Allowing Snow to Accumulate
There isn’t anything fun about having to shovel. But when you leave it unshoveled on the sidewalk, this is a huge mistake. There are even some places where there might be a fine they might have to pay if they don’t shovel, depending on where they live.
Snow will become water. When this trickles into your driveway’s or sidewalk’s cracks, it can cause damage. Not only that, but the ground becomes slippier and it can cause you to fall.
Not only that, but not clearing snow off of your vehicle before you drive can cause damage. You also could be slapped with a ticket if you are caught.
Try to clear snow after it falls. This doesn’t mean that it has to be done during a blizzard, but you shouldn’t wait for days to do it either.
Not Taking Breaks
Remember how we talked about not letting snow accumulate? This is one of the big reasons why this isn’t a good idea. Once you go out and start shoveling, it’s easy to get into the groove and keep going until it’s done.
But this can cause a lot of problems. It’s going to make you invest a lot of time and energy. It also is going to affect your health. Make sure that you have a plan for shoveling. You should wait for it to stop snowing, or until it’s only flurries and it’s not laying. Then get bundled up. Start out by clearing the doorstep, your driveway. Then tackle what remains of the sidewalk.
Now, take a breather for around 20 minutes before you start with anything else that needs cleaning off. It’s a good idea to clean off your home’s roof, too. There are roof rakes that you can use, or there are people who are professionals in snow removal.
Using Your Back to Lift
This is a rule that has been around for a long time. When the snow is heavy and drifting, only fill the shovel so it’s half full rather than full. This is going to help oy to avoid straining your muscles. Make sure you’re back’s straight and your knees are bent. You should also keep the muscles in your stomach tight while you carry anything heavy or using your shovel to scoop up snow.
Don’t continue right away. Taking breaks is encouraged. To avoid becoming exhausted, go to the mistake that’s above – don’t let it pile up.
Not Warming Up
Something that we’ve been taught for most of our life is that you want to make sure that you are properly warmed up before you do any kind of exercise. So then, why is it that so many people don’t do it before they do something as strenuous as shoveling?
It’s good to warm up your muscles before you lift anything or shovel by jogging, brisk-walking and jogging for at least 15 minutes. Then, stretch your shoulders, stomach, arm, legs and back gently so that you avoid muscle tears and injuries.
This one can be hard. Because sometimes you live alone. But the last thing that you want is to fall because you have slipped and hurt yourself, or because you have had a heart attack due to too much lifting.
It’s best if you can have a friend or neighbor out there with you helping to shovel. Or, if you can’t shovel yourself, maybe you can find some kids or teenagers who you can pay to clean off your driveway and sidewalk.
If you want to shovel and you have a neighbor who is willing to help you, you can always return the favor and help them out with shoveling their property, too. Besides, with more people working on the shoveling, it’s going to take less time and you can watch out for one another.
Not Being Insured
Chances are that you have insurance on your car, or you should if you live in most of the United States. But how about your house? This is important too, particularly if you have a mortgage.
Homeowner’s insurance will ensure that your home’s covered if there’s natural disasters or theft. This will include damage to it’s structure like the walls, roof, or floor that’s caused by a heavy snowfall.
How much this will cost will vary based on the state that you live in. However, it doesn’t matter how much you have to pay, the costs are going to be less than if you had to do the repairs yourself.
Not Staying Hydrated
You might think that because you are out in the cold rather than being in the heat that you don’t have to keep hydrated. But when you take off your coat and hat and all those layers, there’s a good chance that you are going to be hot and sweating. After all, you exerted yourself. Therefore, make sure that you are keeping yourself well hydrated. You might immediately come in and think that it’s good to have a cup of hot tea, hot chocolate or coffee. However, before you do that, do yourself a favor and drink some water. You’ll do yourself and your body a favor. It’s been through a lot and it’s used up a lot of energy. It needs some of that back.
These are just some of the biggest mistakes you want to avoid making when it comes to shoveling snow this winter. The last thing that you want is to injure yourself or worse because you are using the wrong shovel or not taking breaks.
We have a lot of things that you can use to keep warm this winter. If you have any questions or want to now more, please contact us. We’re ready to help you in any way we can.