Safe Shovelling in the Winter: Snow Removal Tips From the Pros

Safe Shovelling in the Winter: Snow Removal Tips From the Pros

It is that time of year again, when we Albertans begin to dress differently, and even walk differently, as we confront another winter. At Mirage Landscaping of Calgary, we’d like to remind everyone out there how to stay warm, upright, and in good health while clearing your walks. And if you don’t want to do it yourself, contact us for snow removal services.

Layer Up

Layered clothing is the way to go for any exertion in winter weather. Sweating while working in cold weather is a surefire way to become extremely uncomfortable or even start the hypothermia process. When you are chipping ice or shovelling snow, your exertions are going to burn calories, which are a measurement of heat. That work creates attempts by the body to cool you off, in the form of sweat. Unfortunately, in cold temperatures, water is a very good medium for chilling you rather than cooling you. Allow the weather to cool you off. If you find beads of sweat forming while you work, take off a layer from your core, but keep your hat and gloves on so that your ears and fingers don’t give you the urge to bundle up again too soon.

Don’t Forget Your Feet

After a light snowfall it may be tempting to just race out there with your jogging shoes on and take care of matters, but you shouldn’t. Nearly all footwear that is not optimised for winter features design choices of upper materials, sole composition, and overall construction, that never had snow and ice in mind. 

Snow boots have tread patterns, rubber formulations, and insulation that make them superior choices over your favourite runners for working outside in the winter. They are also usually designed to take into account how people step more cautiously in uncertain footing conditions by having tread features that flow up onto the edges, and over the heel and toe to increase the function of the boot.

Choose a Shovel That Works For You

Snow shovels are a surprisingly complex topic. Many have tried to build the better mouse trap regarding snow shovels, so much so that there are now human powered snow plow type devices on the market. As a reminder, the shovels you probably already own for gardening are perfectly suitable for ice chipping and light snow removal jobs.

When you get tired of wielding steel and hardwood or fiberglass shafted utility shovels for clearing snow, you’ll be looking for something made from aluminum or plastic to make for lighter and less frequent throws. Remember that no matter which snow shovel style or material it is made from, the hallmark of a well-designed one is some type of reinforced leading edge. Your shovelling will go far more smoothly if your tool is capable of light ice scraping as well as throwing snow. A frequently seen alternative to the traditionally broad snow shovel is the plastic headed “grain hog” style shovel, one that can still throw a lot of snow despite being narrower than the standard snow shovel.

Remember To Use Good Technique

It won’t matter what shovel you own if you use it unwisely and throw out your back or injure your shoulders. While not complicated, throwing snow with a shovel has a learning curve to it. “Put your back into it,” while an admirable saying, will shorten your ability to throw snow. Make sure to get low and use your legs to lift the majority of the weight in your shovel. By keeping your arms close to your center of mass, you limit the strain your arms have to take from the load in the shovel. Don’t twist your back to throw snow from your walk into the yard, instead, pivot your body upon your feet. Rather than extending your arms to physically throw the snow, consider just turning the shovel and let gravity pile it up.

Contact Mirage And Stand Back

Rather than layer up, get into your snow boots, and mind your aching back, perhaps you’d rather watch us clear your driveway and walk? If so, no snow removal job is too big or too small for Mirage Landscaping of Calgary to offer a free quote. Regular snow removal by the professionals from Mirage Landscaping not only makes your property safer for you and your visitors, through us carrying our own liability insurance, it also means that someone is regularly coming by your home, even if you are out of town for the holidays, providing an added layer of protection.


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