It won’t be long now until many of us are engaged in Calgary’s least favorite winter sport—snow removal. Depending on how many times it snows here this winter, you might wind up feeling as if you’d played the home half of the Flames’ season before you’re through.
As you may know, Mirage Landscaping is in the Calgary snow removal business. We have all of the trucks, crews, and expertise to get you through your winter snow removal obligations, and all you have to do is pick up the phone.
Nevertheless, if you insist on braving the weather, Mirage Landscaping has some tips for performing your own Calgary snow removal jobs.
1. Choose Your Weapons Before The Snow Flies
Let’s face facts, unless you have a lot of walk up, sidewalks, or a long driveway to clear, you aren’t likely to spend the upfront cash or spring for the ongoing maintenance expense of having a snow blower in your garage. Even if you do, there are places, like decks, steps, and the like, where the blowers are cumbersome. Even we have to carry shovels on our trucks for those tricky or delicate spots where using a blower is no good.
Do you buy a pusher or a shovel? Ergonomic shovel or traditional? Snow shovel or grain shovel? Plastic or aluminum blade? Plastic, aluminum, or wood handle? Separate ice scraper or try to depend on the shovel’s edge?
The most important thing you have to take into account is your physical condition. The lighter the mass of the tool you are using, the more repetitions you can handle without tiring. If you have a bad back, consider a pusher—or a snow shovel with a shaft that bends towards the ground for you. Be aware that with a pusher, you’ll not be able to wait on accumulation during a storm because pushers shove snow into a pile rather than lift it out of the way.
2. Have A Plan
We would never simply show up to remove your snow without some sort of plan as to where we should start or for where the snow should wind up, and neither should you. Look out the window and ask yourself, “What is the shortest distance I can move the snow?” Once you have that figured out, the rest is just work and details. Mentally shovel the snow. Where are you going to start? Where are you going to work to so as to throw as few shovels full as needed? How are you going to create access for walking, and for your cars, without creating another hazard, like an ice wall that will melt across the driveway or sidewalks, creating an ice removal problem when any daily thaw causes some water to run? If you have an efficient plan before you start, you won’t have to work as hard.
3. Dress (and Stretch) For Success
Dress in layers so you’ll be comfortable working. Unlike in summer, working up a sweat is not a positive sign that you are working hard. In freezing temperatures, sweating will chill you and take the starch out of your efforts. Being overdressed also makes moving back inside for a few minutes to warm up a tougher go because you’ll overheat faster.
Consider loosening up your muscles before heading outside the first time. Bend over towards the floor a few times. Stretch out your arms and shoulders a bit. Don’t forget tour legs either. If you can manage a few squats before heading to work, your thighs might not give you as much trouble later.
4. Work Smart
When you have a lot of snow to clear, do the work in segments, and only scoop as much snow weight as you can repeatedly manage. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. You also have to remember to keep the shovel weight under positive control, use your legs as much as possible, and to not twist your torso while throwing the snow if you can manage it.
5. If You Can, Do Two Jobs At Once
In Calgary we often get Chinook winds that melt much of the snow away before it re-accumulates. Shovel excess snow over your garden areas and tulip beds to create an insulation blanket that will moderate the temperatures when the thermometer is seeing wild swings.
6. When You Get Tired Of The Fight, Get A Free Quote
When you get tired of the monotony, not to mention the back breaking labour, call Mirage Landscaping. No job, whether residential or commercial, is too big or too small. Let us take the stress out of your watching of the weather reports and let us do your Calgary snow removal for you.
And when that snow finally melts away, we can do your spring clean up too.