Fed up with aches and pains from the physical labor that shoveling snow entails? We understand, read on for all our tricks and tips for how to remove snow from your driveway without a shovel.
No matter what your conditions, here you will find something to help you when the white stuff soon arrives.
Best Ways To Clear Snow From Your Driveway
It goes without saying the best way to clear snow from a driveway is with the least effort on your part if you have the best shovels for snow and without the cost of calling in a snow plowing service.
But is that really achievable? Yes, and here’s how.
The Fastest Way: Get Out Your Snow Blower
First up let’s talk snow blowers, which are by far the easiest way to remove snow quickly. Once winter arrives clearing snow can become a time-consuming task. And, time is generally something we don’t have when we are rushing to work or to get the kids to school.
Don’t worry, buying the best snow blower doesn’t have to blow the budget. You can pick up a snow blower from as little as $150 dollars right up to $2000 for a top-of-the-range gas-powered model.
However, there are different types of snow blowers and it is important you choose the right model for your weather conditions.
Whether that be a small electric snow shovel or snow thrower for low to moderate amounts of snow, or, a powerful two-stage snow blower for those that receive moderate to high snowfall. Using a snow blower after a winter storm gets the job done so much faster and without all the hard work.
Use Ice Melt Or Rock Salt
Although rock salt is great for instant traction underfoot, it is actually quite slow at melting snow and ice when compared to magnesium chloride (MgCl2) and calcium chloride.
Having said that, all have their limitations and because off-the-shelf ice melts differ in the chemicals they contain you will need to do some research to find the best one for your conditions.
Is it bad to salt your driveway? There are certainly some disadvantages to using rock salt (sodium chloride) or ice melts containing calcium chloride or magnesium chloride.
Get to know your chemicals and which surfaces they can and cannot be used on as they may damage or stain concrete and asphalt etc.
Using A Yard Rake
Although yard rakes are not the best tool for removing snow from the driveway, they can come in very handy for breaking up condensed or heavy snow prior to snow removal. Be careful though as you don’t want to damage the surface below.
A yard rake can also be used for removing excess snow if you have received an unusual amount that is too deep for your snow blowers’ intake depth.
Get A Wheelbarrow Snow Plow Attachment
Although not many people know about them, there are snow plow attachments to fit a multitude of outdoor recreational and landscaping equipment, from tractors, ATVs right down to wheelbarrows.
A good example of this is the 8 in 1 Aerocart from Worx, truly a versatile invention and one that offers the Aerocart wheelbarrow snow plow attachment.
For larger properties, this is a great answer to the question of how to remove snow from driveway without a shovel and easily.
Dig Out Your Leaf Blower
Yes, you read that right! There are certain circumstances when leaf blowers can be used for snow blowing. At times, when there is just enough light snow to make it slippery, you can simply blow it away using your leaf blower.
Ideal for fluffy snow on a small driveway, decking, patios, and best of all any awkward steps that you want clear.
Don’t take our word for it, check out this youtube video showing just how well it works.
Always refer to the user manual and use extreme caution. And, never use a leaf blower for too long in icy cold conditions as this can damage the motor.
Use Heated Snow Mats
Don’t want to do the snow removal yourself? Then surface heating mats are for you. Unlike the heated driveway systems that are fitted before a driveway is laid, these snow-melting mats simply sit on the driveway surface
You can either choose to turn the heated mats on before the white stuff arrives to prevent snow accumulation. Or, if you are not in a rush yo ucan save money and only turn them on to melt snow 30 minutes before you need to leave.
Tips To Prevent Snow Build Up On Your Driveway
We all know prevention is better than cure, so let’s briefly run through just a few things that can make that winter snowfall easier to deal with.
Lay A Plastic Tarp BEFORE It Snows
Using the tarp method is an easy labor-saving way to clear snow away fast. Simply lay a tarp (or other suitable material) on the area that you will want to clear and secure using large rocks or even plant pots if they are close by. When the snow stops you simply pull it out of the way.
Alternatively, lift up two corners on the opposite side that you want the snow pile to be and pull the tarp back over on itself, this rolls the snow as you go. Once clear the tarp is ready to be used again.
Install A Heated Driveway System
A heated driveway system is a great way to avoid spending hours toiling with a snow shovel, especially if the driveway is long or sloping. This system is similar to underfloor heating, except it is installed underneath the driveway.
They can be set either manually or to come on automatically when snow is starting to fall. Great for keeping even the longest of driveways clear of snow and ice.
These systems can be either electric or water, but bear in mind whichever you go for it is not just the cost of installation you need to budget for, running costs can quickly add up.
Put A Salt & Sand Mixture On The Driveway
Spreading a thin even layer of salt and sand before it snows can help prevent lighter snowfalls from settling. And by adding sand to the mix you are using less damaging salt while adding much more traction, making walkways and driveways less of a hazard.
Final Thoughts & Your Best Option
Ok so a snow shovel may still be a useful tool, but you can certainly take a lot of the effort out of clearing your driveway without a shovel using one of the methods above.
Out of all of them our favorite is using a snow blower – but obviously this does take some pre-planning and purchasing.
Some Other Commonly Asked Questions
We hope you have found this article useful. Below we have answered a few of the most commonly asked questions to help you further. Stay safe this winter.
Does vinegar melt ice on a driveway?
Although vinegar does not actually melt ice on a driveway it can help to prevent ice from forming. This is due to the fact that acetic acid lowers the freezing point of water.
Does Dawn dish soap melt ice?
Because Dawn dish soap does not freeze you will find it used in a lot of homemade deicer recipes. However, Dawn soap on its own will not melt ice.
When should you put salt on your driveway?
You should use salt on your driveway and walkways before snow and freezing conditions arrive. But, remember it is harsh on materials that it comes into contact with so always use only when necessary and sparingly.