There’s something almost magical about the first snowfall in Calgary each winter. Everyone knows that it’s inevitable, and the blanket of snow completely changes the city out of recognition. The clean white snow softens all harsh edges and covers up all the ugly parts of the city, and it’s hard to remember why most Calgary citizens dread the winter season as you look out over the perfect cityscape.
Then you head outside and realise that you’ve got to get on with your day, and that beautiful blanket of snow suddenly becomes your worst enemy. Whether it’s a few centimetres of light powder or a dumping of the thick heavy stuff, your best bet for driveway snow shovelling is to get out there quickly and act fast. Even if the city is expecting a small warm up during the day after a big storm, the night time temperatures will drop back below zero, leaving you with a layer of ice to contemplate on top of any snow that you left behind. Acting as soon as it’s safe to get outside will save you time in the long run as well as allowing you and your family to get on with your day safely.
Best Shovelling Practices
When it comes to snow removal, Calgary homeowners have multiple options at their disposal. The choice that you make will depend on a lot of things, from how heavy the snowfall was, the size of your driveway and sidewalk areas, and your own physical ability. These options range from free to expensive, but as with most things in life, the rule follows that the more you pay, the easier the job is for you.
The cheapest way to go about driveway and sidewalk snow removal is to shovel it yourself. Don’t be afraid to spend a few extra dollars on a solid shovel with multiple handle grips and a long handle. You can make use of physics here by giving yourself a long leverage point and spreading the weight out across the shovel. It also sounds strange, but there is a science to efficient snow shovelling, so next time you step out to clear your driveway or sidewalk manually, keep these tips in mind:
- Start with the middle – the biggest mistake that most people make when it comes to snow removal in Calgary is they want to work in straight lines from the top of the driveway to the bottom. Even with a short driveway, you’ll find that the snow pile on the end of your shovel becomes incredibly heavy by the end of your sweep, and you’re more likely to injure yourself as well as making massive snow banks at the end of your drive. Instead, start by clearing a path down the middle of your driveway, dumping the snow to either side every metre or so. You then work down the driveway, shovelling from the middle to the outside in short sections. This breaks down the task and saves your back and arms from too much heavy lifting.
- Grip close to the blade – worry free snow removal is all about using the principles of physics to your advantage. While it’s tempting to hold the snow shovel around halfway up because it’s comfortable to scoop the snow up from that angle, it’s going to put a lot of pressure on your wrists and forearms to pivot the heavy weight each time. A better strategy is to have one hand grip around 10 cm from the shovel blade. While this will cause you to bend over more, you’ll get more leverage behind each scoop, and you’ll actually save energy in the long run.
- Use cooking spray – finally, every Calgary resident knows that snow comes in a lot of different varieties, and that some are easier to shovel than others. That beautiful powder almost flies off the end of your shovel, while the thick heavy snow can leave you tired and broken by the end of the first round. The hardest part about the thick heavy stuff is that it sticks to the end of your shovel, making it hard to shake off and adding time to your snow removal process. A fun hack is to cover the end of your shovel with cooking spray. This will make it non-stick and you’ll be amazed at how the snow comes flying off the end of your shovel.
Machine Assisted Snow Shovelling
Of course, driveway snow shovelling isn’t for everyone. It’s time consuming and requires a certain level of physical strength to succeed. This is why there are so many mechanical options for driveway and sidewalk snow removal. A snow blower is a popular option for longer driveways, and the wide gauge means you’ll clear your driveway in time. You can also invest in a hand pushed snow thrower, which scoops snow up as you push the handle and throws it in front of you. Finally, if you have a lot of space, you can mount a snow plough blade to the front of your ride-on lawn mower and be the envy of all your neighbours as you clear the driveway in no time at all. All of these machines will cost you money, both in the initial purchase, and in the yearly maintenance and servicing. You’ll also need to remember to either charge them up or keep a steady supply of petrol in the garage to make sure you don’t get left having to shovel manually.
Getting Professional Help
Shovelling by hand takes a lot of time, and machine assisted shovelling costs a lot of money. This is why many people choose for a compromise by contracting with Scoop Cut N Shovel’s snow and ice removal services. We have a wide range of subscription packages depending on the size of your driveway, and whether you need us to include sidewalk snow removal. Our team of worry free snow removal experts will come to your property immediately after each snow fall to dig you out and leave you free to enjoy Calgary’s winter wonderland.