The Worst Advice We’ve Heard About Snow and Ice

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When it comes to clearing snow and ice there are endless methods to get the job done. However, there are always the strategies and tactics that are just plain wrong. Here is some of the worst advice we’ve heard about snow and ice. If you find yourself doing some of these things there’s no need to worry, Case can show you the right way.

You need to put sand on your driveway or else it will be slippery! Well, there’s a messy truth about sand. Whenever a blizzard warning flashes across the news, people flock to stores to stock up on food, water, and unfortunately, sand. Let’s make this clear right away; sand does NOT melt snow or ice. Yes, that’s correct. For years the use of sand has been incredibly wasteful and inefficient when attempting to prevent freezing on roads, driveways, and parking lots. It’s not always good for traction either.  In many cases using sand only makes matters worse because it creates a thick frozen mess of sand, snow, and ice, as well as anything else that may have got caught up with it. In addition to sand be ineffective at clearing away ice, it creates a major hassle at the end of the season. Sand doesn’t melt or just wash away, so when the temperature rises you’re left with sand scattered everywhere. It gets into plants, grass, and drains which require even more attention than you probably thought. Not to mention it probably just eroded most of the top layer of any pavement it was applied to.

The easiest way to get rid of all that snow and ice is to just push it into a drain. Sorry, but this piece of advice is sure to cause some serious negative effects. Drains are for water, they aren’t made to allow thick snow and ice (and sand) through. When you push debris into a drain it greatly increases the chances that it will clog. A drain that doesn’t function may seem like something you could shrug off, but if blocked off for too long you might have water runoff in places you wouldn’t like. Snow and ice is bound to melt eventually, and while that clogged drain may not seem like a problem now, when early Spring rolls around you might think otherwise. Snow and ice can create an unbearably large amount of water and when it can’t drain it will either make gardens and lawns into a soppy muddy mess, or will find its way to the lowest point around (probably your basement). Please, please, please do not block drains or you’ll find yourself regretting it later.

You need to keep your roof cleared of snow and ice at all times. This piece of advice can get a bit tricky, and while it may seem correct this is often a risky endeavor during the winter months. Cleaning off a roof just once can be dangerous for the obvious reason that walking on a slippery elevated surface can easily lead to a serious injury. Clearing a roof possibly a dozen times over the course of one season greatly increases the risk of something going wrong, not to mention most of the time it isn’t completely necessary. A general rule to follow is that a roof should be cleared when snow reaches above a thickness of 6 inches. The real reason why keeping a roof constantly cleared is poor advice is because it can damage your shingles. If you are going to shovel your roof, be sure to take care and use a shovel with a plastic edge rather than metal to minimize potential damage. Each time a roof is shoveled the tiny granules on the shingles are scraped off, and compromise their effectiveness. Over-shoveling a roof year after year is likely to reduce the lifespan of the roof and replacement costs thousands of dollars. Don’t stress too much, unless the snow gets out of hand there is no reason to continuously clear your roof.

Hopefully you can avoid making these mistakes this upcoming winter and for anyone who tries to advise you to use sand, push snow into a drain, or keep clearing your roof you’ll be able to educate them on the right way to do it.


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