Calgarians are creative people when it comes to snow removal. In our three generations of snow removal services in southeast Calgary, we have seen snow and ice attacked in just about every way possible. A lot of them, we wouldn’t recommend. But the snow removal business requires a sense of humour – especially in this city, where the weather can be particularly heartless – and so we thought we’d share some of the stranger things we’ve seen.
You, however, can take snow removal completely out of your home maintenance equation by employing the services of us at Mirage Landscaping. We have been taking care of our residential and commercial properties for three generations’ worth of winters, and have seen just about everything Mother Nature can throw at us. We have a fleet of snow removal equipment and tons of manpower ready to go at any time, running snow plows, power brushes, snow blowers, and hundreds of shovels. It is our promise to you that we will be there as soon as possible after every snowfall. We work hard to keep your property safe and ice-free so that your friends, family, and visitors can come and go without fear of slipping and falling.
When snow and ice hit, we’ve seen people try just about everything they can to avoid picking up a shovel. We don’t necessarily blame them – shovelling is hard work – but although these approaches are creative, they will likely end up causing cause more harm than good.
Pouring Hot Water
Boiling water to get rid of patches of snow and ice is feasible … if the patches are very small. In all reality, it’s just not possible to boil enough water to take care of an entire sidewalk or driveway. And if it’s not several degrees above zero, that water is likely to freeze fast and leave you with a nice sheet of ice to contend with afterwards.
This method is not really effective except potentially for apartment and condo owners wanting to get rid of snow on their balcony without simply pushing it over the edge on to the homeowners’ below. Keep towels at the ready to sop up the excess so it doesn’t freeze!
Rubbing alcohol is great for windows that tend to ice over due to poor insulation. Just fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and attack. Dry them with a clean towel, or paper towels, and they will be protected from fogging and also streak-free and clean as a whistle.
Serve it Straight Up
If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol, just alcohol will do! Any sort of spirit such as vodka, rum, tequila, rye, etc., has enough alcohol content that it doesn’t freeze, and can also be used to melt the ice off of windows. Alcohol is expensive, though, so some may rather just make the trip to the local drug store for rubbing alcohol.
Use Kitty Litter
In a pinch, kitty litter can actually used in the same way as sand or gravel to provide extra traction when it’s slippery out.
Put a Tarp on It
Stuff you have that you don’t want snow to accumulate on, such as lawn furniture or your barbecue, can just be covered with a tarp so it’s easy to remove, shake off, and replace it.
Bring Out the Shop Vac
Shop vacs are great. They pick up dirt, water, and yes, even snow. You can gather up a fair amount to be dumped somewhere else, or you could turn the vacuum on using its exhaust function and use it as a snow blower.
Salt and Sand
No, salt and sand are not weird, and we definitely recommend including them both in your snow removal arsenal. They’re included because often they are forgotten about as an additional way to keep your property clear of snow and ice.
Salt and other deicing agents are the most effective down to about 10 degrees Celsius below zero. To illustrate this, the City of Calgary only uses salt to de-ice the roads when the road surface temperature is between zero and -10 degrees Celsius and expected to remain that way for several days. When the road surface temperature is -5 degree Celsius and the forecast is for the temperature to dip further, road salt ceases to be effective and the City applies a “sanding chip” mixture, which is 3% salt and 97% gravel.
When it’s very cold and ice simply can’t be totally removed, gravel and sand can be put down to provide additional grip.
Not-So-Strange Snow Removal By Mirage
We specialize in very un-strange snow removal services for our residential and commercial clients, who rely on our professionalism and expertise to ensure Calgary’s snow removal bylaws are adhered to and that their properties are safe for all visitors to come and visit. We look forward to the challenge presented by every snowstorm as we hustle to clear your sidewalks, pathways, driveways, and parking lots as quickly as possible.
We have over three decades of experience clearing snow in Calgary’s southeast communities, serving the areas of:
Auburn Bay, Chaparral, Chaparral Valley, Copperfield, Cranston, Douglasdale, Heritage Pointe, Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, McKenzie Lake, Mackenzie Towne, Maple Ridge, New Brighton, Odgen/Lynwood/Millican, Parkland, Riverbend, Sundance, Walden, and Willow Park.