Fed by the lush vapors of The Great Lakes, Michigan maintains a moderate climate compared to other states on the Upper Peninsula. Understandably, snow accumulation can be quite a hazard in these areas, causing vehicles and people to slip on paved surfaces and get injured.
When the snow is heaviest in January, our young happily indulge in snowmen, sleighs, and snowballs. It’s us, adults who have to deal with less-than-pleasant winter aspects like snow-blocked driveways and icy, slippery pavement, frosted car windows, and slushy snow.
If you are a resident of Milford, MI, then we’re sure you’ve had experience shoveling snow. In this post, we will discuss snow removal essentials and tricks that will help you eliminate unwanted frosty buildup on surfaces.
There are Tools –
- For your driveways and stroll paths, a sleigh shovel is suitable for clearing snow. It’s labor-intensive but keeps you warm while you are exerting yourself.
- Frost tends to form on car windows that can hinder vision. Traditional ice scrapers tend to damage the glass surface; it’s best to use a telescopic scratch-free snow brush that clears away the frost and ice but without any scratches. Cover your vehicle with a plastic tarp for the night if you don’t want to spend time scraping in the morning.
- Once snow accumulates on your roof, you will need to remove it. For the metal roofs or shingles, grab a long-handled snow rake and clear away the snow.
- When temperatures drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit, old-fashioned salt is still effective at melting snow and ice. However, halite (rock salt) melts to form a slush that can freeze again once temperatures drop further, making it less efficient.
There is Equipment –
- The straight and V-blade snowplow is used to clear pavement generally. The plow comes in specific designs and sizes and is front-mounted on a tractor before use. Municipalities usually hire snow-removing contractors to clear roads in winters for public safety.
- Side snow vehicles (SSV) are rotating brush attachments on tractors that accurately remove ice and snow from the pavement. They have some serious horsepower under the hood and are good enough for residential and commercial use. It’s like using a lawnmower, except its snow, and you’re in mittens and parkas!
- Snowblowers & throwers are NOT the same things. A snow blower sucks the snow and expels it far away from another chute akin to a directional sprinkler. They are more powerful than the snow throwers. We’ve heard they’re also used to ‘freshen up’ the snow in ski resorts!
And Then There Are Techniques –
- Do not let freshly fallen slow rest for more extended periods as it will compress and solidify, making removal difficult. Shovel the snow away as soon as it stops falling.
- Sprinkle generous amounts of salt in the driveway. As we all learned in chemistry class, impurities can lower the freezing point of liquids. The salt acts as an impurity and lowers the snow’s freezing point, rendering it back to water that runs off.
- NEVER use water to remove ice from driveways, pavement, decks, or patios. The water can create a thin icy film on the surfaces that can increase the risk of slippage.
- Rock salt is suitable on asphalt surfaces. For concrete, calcium carbonate is the bit of chemistry magic that will melt the snow away—keeping your surfaces skid-free.
Caution: Salt is not the only substance used for snow and ice removal. Chloride salts are more effective at below-zero temperatures and will melt down to -22˚C, but they are harsh on vegetation and corrode metal roofs as well.
At Against the Elements, we understand that winters are still quite far off to discuss snow removal, but you know who to call up if you need a perfect snow removal job done on your property! Commercial, residential, and even municipal, we cater to all. We look forward to you dropping in for a free quote as winter comes around!