Know the best snow removal techniques

December 9, 2014

No matter if you’re shovelling the driveway, using a snowblower or removing snow from the roof, it’s essential to use proper snow removal techniques. Perhaps you’d like to take a few notes.

Lesson 1: Shovelling properly

Every year, too many people get hurt or even put their health at risk by shovelling in the improper way. Follow these tips to avoid becoming a statistic:

  • Avoid letting the snow pile up (shovel frequently during heavy snowfalls)
  • Take time to stretch before you start shovelling
  • Use a lightweight shovel
  • Avoid lifting heavy loads of snow (it’s safer to push the snow)
  • Bend your knees and use the strength of your legs and arms to push the snow, and always keep your back straight. Avoid twisting your back abruptly
  • Don’t hesitate to take breaks as needed, and take these opportunities to move the different parts of your body
  • Listen to your body’s signals. If you feel any pain, stop shovelling. If the pain persists for more than a day, consult a health-care professional

This fool-proof snow removal technique will save you from hurting your back. Don’t forget to tackle the ice on your walkways, which increases the risk of falling. De-icing products will make quick work of it.

Lesson 2: Use the snowblower safely

Although the snowblower makes life easier by saving you time, you still need to know the proper snow removal technique.

  • When removing snow from a sloping driveway, always work from top to bottom
  • Never run the snowblower sideways
  • Avoid clearing steep hills

Lesson 3: Shovelling snow off the roof

Not all roofs need to be cleared of snow. Some have a fairly steep slope that allows the snow to slide off on its own. And keep in mind that most flat roofs are built to withstand a maximum of 38 centimetres of hardened snow or 70 centimetres of fresh snow. To avoid injury or damaging your roof, you have to be sure to choose the proper snow removal technique.

  • Push the ladder into a snow bank to anchor it down
  • Secure yourself to a solid anchor point with a harness
  • Use a plastic shovel to avoid damaging the shingles
  • To avoid damaging the roof, you don’t have to remove all the snow. Only remove the overload, leaving a layer of 10 to 15 centimetres
  • Climb down from the roof regularly to shovel away the snow you have thrown off the roof. Allowing the snow to accumulate will only make it more difficult to remove later

And there you are. Now that you’re aware of every proper snow removal technique, you can face winter without any fear of injury.

Know the best snow removal techniques
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