How to Shovel Safely this Winter

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When done incorrectly, snow removal can injure your body and damage your vehicle and even the hardscaping around your home. With these tips, you can clear snow safely and efficiently.

It is tempting to begin clearing walkways and vehicles when the first layer of snow falls. Waiting to long can cause packed snow which forms ice that is hard to chip away. More snow means higher snow banks, which are difficult to reach with the shovel or snow blower. Eventually, warmer weather can turn that soft, easy-to-scoop snow into heavy, hard to remove slush. We recommend to wait until the snowfall has completely stopped but to wait no longer then 6 to 8 hours after it has started to fall.

Many municipalities require homeowners clear publicly accessible walkways in front of their residences down to bare concrete within a certain timeframe. For example, if a property owner in the City of Calgary does not remove snow and ice from a sidewalk adjacent to their property within 24 hours of a snowfall, The City of Calgary¬†may issue a warning notice to clear the sidewalk within a certain period of time. If the sidewalk is not cleared within that time, The City may have the snow and ice removed from the sidewalk at the property owner’s expense.

Shoveling Technique

  • Bend knees, dip moderately low
  • Lift with legs, keeping lower back straight
  • Do not twist to the side. Rather, turn your entire body to the side, then toss the snow

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