I know what you’re thinking…It’s not winter right now!
You’re right, but with the weather we’ve been having this question just appeared…
So, when is the best time to shovel snow? That’s a good question. Find out the answer along with my tips and tricks on how to shovel snow the easy way.
The weather forecast predicts that you are likely to have consecutive days of heavy snowfall. Now you are faced with the decision of should you shovel snow while it is still snowing. Personally, I do, but if it is possible I do try and get out to clear the snow while there is a break in snowfall.
Top Tips for the Best Time to Shovel Snow
There is no definite answer to the question of whether it’s best to wait for it to stop snowing or not. It is, of course, totally dependent on your circumstances and the weather conditions at the time.
But here are some of the factors you should think about before you shovel the snow.
Benefits of Shoveling Snow While It’s Still Snowing
The easy way to shovel snow is to keep up, when you only have a few inches, it’s easier. Couple that with the fact that snow is light and fluffy when it first hits the ground. However, in the event that there is a slight rise in the air temperature or bright sun this will change.
So, to start shoveling while it is still snowing makes sense to me. I don’t recommend this if you are dealing with a severe snowstorm, blizzard, or freezing rain and wind of course. Frostbite and hypothermia are very real dangers in these weather conditions.
Melting snow becomes heavier wet snow, making snow removal more strenuous. Not only is it heavier, should it refreeze, you will be working in slippery and hazardous icy conditions. Greatly increasing the chance of having a fall and injuring yourself.
Shovelling Snow When It Stops Snowing
Unfortunately, not everyone is in a position to carry out snow removal throughout the day. If that is the case for you and the forecast calls for large amounts or consecutive days of snow, remember, a snow blower makes life a lot easier.
However, if you are not expecting heavy snow and do not live in a high snowfall area, then things are a bit easier. Stay in the warm, relax and take in the beauty of the white landscape. Wait until the snow stops falling, it will do no harm if it’s only a few centimetres or inches.
Let’s face it, nobody wants to clear snow anyway, let alone more than they have to!
How to Stay Safe While Shoveling Snow
Shovelling snow can be dangerous, every year people die, with thousands more being injured in the process of clearing snow.
1. Dress for the Weather
Wear several layers of lightweight clothing, you will not only be more comfortable but your movement will not be restricted. Try to wear a thermal garment next to your skin, as this will allow perspiration to escape.
Wear a good winter hat and gloves that will not only keep your hands warm but protect them from injury. Ideally, you will have thermal socks to go with a sturdy pair of boots. Good traction and grip as well as ankle support is extremely important.
2. Be Physically Ready & Aware
Shoveling snow is a high-intensity exercise and one that uses all of your major muscle groups. Limber up and stretch before you start. When your blood is flowing and your muscles are relaxed you can then start to gently stretch.
Shoveling snow together with cold weather can raise blood pressure, cause heart attacks, and cause back strain. Cold air and winter weather conditions make it harder to work as well as breathe, all putting an extra strain on your body.
Be aware of what your body is telling you and stop if you feel the need to.
3. Use the Right Tool: Snow Shovel Tips and More
A shovel full of snow for one person is not necessarily the same for everyone. The easiest way to shovel snow comes from picking the correct size and type of shovel.
- Choose a shovel that matches your height. If a shovel is too short then you are asking for backache. If it is too long you will not be able to shovel the snow efficiently.
- Choose the right size blade. How to shovel snow fast, have a large bladed shovel, right? Wrong on every count. The bigger the shovel the heavier it is, make sure you pick the size to match your strength.
- Get a comfortable handle diameter. Your hands are at risk from pain just from shovelling snow anyway. Don’t make it worse by not being able to grip the handle easily and comfortably.
- Prepare your shovel. Snow sticking to your snow shovel will slow you down. Prepare your shovel blade by waxing or oiling it before starting. Nothing fancy is required, general cooking spray is fine.
4. Snow Shoveling Techniques
Knowing how to shovel snow properly is essential. By knowing this you will avoid straining or injuring yourself.
- Keep your legs slightly apart. Hip-distance is ideal.
- Never lift with your back. Lift with your legs by slightly bending your knees.
- Push don’t lift. Where at all possible push the snow to the side, the less lifting you do the better.
- Shovel in layers. By tackling a large snow accumulation in layers, you avoid lifting too much in one go.
- Try to swap your hands around. Although this is easier said than done. Swapping hands will reduce muscle strain on the same set of muscles.
- Take regular breaks. No one is superhuman, it doesn’t have to be done in one go. By stopping regularly you will be helping yourself and, believe it or not, speed your snow removal up.
Yes, snow shoveling can be dangerous. But, as long as you take the right precautions and have the right equipment you’ll be on your way to having a safe snow season.