Top Snow and Ice Removal Tips for Homeowners by Stephanie Rogers

Posted by Jill Yanus on

There is nothing more quaint in the world of homeownership than throwing on your favorite pair of pajamas, brewing a warm cup of coffee, and watching the snow fall from the comfort of your own living room. Unfortunately, we can’t live our lives as spectators in a winter wonderland indefinitely, and our day-to-day responsibilities will eventually come calling. To help you make your way most effectively in times of winter weather, keep reading for 6 of the best snow and ice removal tips for homeowners.


Keep the Driveway Shoveled to Avoid Accumulation

Chapin 82400B rock salt spreader 

One of the worst things homeowners can do is to neglect shoveling the driveway and count on the sun to melt snow on driveway surfaces. Once driveway snow starts to get compacted, it creates an icy sheath that is dangerous to drive on and slow to dissipate. By staying ahead of shoveling, you guarantee that the underlying concrete or asphalt can absorb the sun’s warming UV rays to create a warm bed that prevents further accumulation.

However, in the event that you fall behind on shoveling and need a little assistance in removing the icy shell that has formed, a heavy-duty rock salt spreader will be essential in getting things broken up. Products such as the Chapin 82400B allow homeowners to salt large areas such as driveways more affordably, as the guillotine style grate of the spreader cuts through rock salt and does not require the use of more expensive residential salts or ice melt mixes.


Clear Sidewalks and Steps Strategically

Residential Driveways, Sidewalks, Ice Removal

Like the driveway, sidewalks and steps need to be shoveled on schedule to prevent icy layers from forming. However, homeowners need to be strategic in their shoveling efforts. Too many people shovel their snow and pile it in a location that will melt and flow right back onto the sidewalk, creating icy patches overnight. Therefore, be sure to pile shoveled snow downhill from where melted snow will flow. Like the driveway, if you do find yourself in a situation where ice has accumulated on the sidewalk, a residential salt/ice melt spreader such as the Chapin 82108B is an essential tool for mitigating ice formation.


Ensure Landscape Drainage Is In Good Condition

Landscape Drainage Examples

Building on the previous point, it is critical that melting snow be able to flow in the right direction. Therefore, if you have any landscape drainage grates in the patio, concrete driveway, or artificial turf, it is important that they are clear of debris and ready to accept melting snow. Remove the grates from any trench drains to guarantee that there is no mud or sediment buildup that can inhibit water flow.


Remove Ice Dams From Gutters

8740A and Clearing Gutters

In addition to removing leaves and other debris from gutters, it is important to regularly scoop out snow and remove any ice dams that have formed. If these ice blockages are proving difficult to break loose, a handheld salt/ice melt shaker such as the Chapin 8740A will allow homeowners to effectively melt ice while providing the mobility necessary for climbing a ladder and accessing hard-to-reach areas.


Regularly Brush Siding

Siding Care in Winter

Due to its vertical orientation, homeowners may not feel like siding is at great risk of getting damaged by snow. While it is true that accumulation will not be as great on the cladding as on flatter areas around the home, it would be a mistake to assume that all will be well. Any unattended debris buildup on the walls can cause snow to catch. Once snow starts standing, ice dams can begin to build--especially on the north side of homes. While this ultimately may not cause much harm to durable fiber cement or steel siding, this accumulation can cause wood shingles to absorb moisture and rot over time. Therefore, it is important to regularly brush siding during snowstorms to prevent this type of moisture damage.


Prevent Roof Accumulation

Roof care in the winter 

Because inconsistent air pockets in the attic will heat the roof at varying rates, snow from some parts of the roof will melt and get blocked by snow in the gutters and at the roof edges. This can create a major hazard, as the roof buildup will eventually melt and break loose, potentially falling on unsuspecting passersby. As such, it is important to regularly use a roof rake to remove snow from the roof. In addition, if you are due for a roof replacement, it is worthwhile to look at the best roofing material for snow that will prevent accumulation by providing an insulative sheath and high tile R-value.

Go The Extra Mile With These Top Snow and Ice Removal Tips This Winter

Although it is tempting to just let the snow do its thing, you will be able to more safely and effectively use your property by being proactive in snow and ice removal. With this in mind, regularly shoveling the driveway and sidewalks, clearing landscape drainage, removing ice dams from gutters, regularly brushing siding, and preventing roof accumulation are some of the best ideas homeowners can use to remove snow and ice this winter.

Stephanie Rogers is a freelance writer that loves sharing her passion for writing with others. She lives in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona where she enjoys spending time with her husband and dog and going on hikes. Stephanie’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource launched in Fall 2022.

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