by Justin Metz on January 17, 2022
Retrieved from: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/how-to-dig-out-of-snow
If you live in an area that regularly sees snow, clearing the driveways and sidewalks after a winter storm is a regular part of life. But when severe winter weather strikes, and the snowfall is measured in feet instead of inches, digging out becomes a lot more work.
Even if the weather caught you off guard, you’ll still have to brave the cold and dig your way out. Here are some tips to help you clear away all that ice and snow
HOW TO CLEAR SNOW FROM YOUR SIDEWALKS
If you own your own home, you are responsible for shoveling sidewalks on your property. In fact, homeowners can be held liable if someone is injured after falling on an obstructed walkway, so it’s important to ensure your sidewalk is cleared.
Some places even have laws setting time frames by which snow must be cleared. Expectations vary by state, city and township, so review your local snow removal ordinances to avoid having to brave the cold and pay a fine or receive a citation on top of that.
For clearing sidewalks, your options will be limited to a snowblower or shovel. If you’re shoveling, be sure to follow these snow shoveling safety tips to avoid an injury. When you’re finished, add salt or ice melt to the sidewalk to prevent ice buildup.
HOW TO REMOVE SNOW FROM YOUR DRIVEWAY
After a blizzard, you’ll want to quickly regain access to the street in front of your house. Here are a few options to get the job done:
While they do sell snow plow attachments for lawn tractors and ATVs, plowing typically isn’t a DIY job for most homeowners. However, hiring a snow plow may not be an option after a big snowstorm. Not only will demand be incredibly high after a blizzard, but really deep snow can become nearly impossible to plow. If you want to hire a snow plow, do it in advance of the storm. Unless a state of emergency has been declared, the plow company will probably come several times during the storm to keep the snow levels more manageable.
If you don’t have access to a plow, the easiest way to clear your driveway will be using a snow blower. When using a snow blower, start in the middle of your driveway and keep making U-turns to work outward. This allows you to blow snow to both sides of the drive. However, not all snow blowers are created equal. So before you get started, ensure your machine is up to the task.
Using a shovel is obviously the most labor-intensive method of clearing your driveway. However, if you shovel frequently during the snowstorm (instead of waiting until it’s over), you can lessen the amount of snow you need to move each time. You may spend more time shoveling, but it will be easier on your back.
Experts also recommend using two types of shovels to clear your drive:
HOW TO DIG YOUR CAR OUT OF THE SNOW
If the snow is so deep it’s hard to see your car, you’ve got some work ahead of you. First, clear the space around your vehicle so you’ve got room to work. Then, start from the top and work your way down.
Avoid the temptation to use a snow shovel when clearing your car. You’ll risk leaving behind deep scratches in your vehicle’s paint or glass, which could require expensive repairs down the road. Instead, use a foam brush or non-abrasive snow broom to gently clear the snow away.
Once you clear enough snow to get into your vehicle, you can start it up and let the defrosters melt any ice on the glass. Just be sure the area around the tailpipe is clear, too.
WHAT IF MY CAR GETS STUCK IN THE SNOW?
After you dig out your car, resist the urge to step on the gas and spin your wheels. That could put you in an even deeper rut by piling snow and ice around your tires.
If you find yourself stuck, the best thing to do is steadily rock your vehicle from front to back. This helps your car gently build momentum to get up and out of the divots. Try carefully switching from drive to reverse. This helps you inch out of the rut by dislodging snow around your tires and creating a clear path to drive out.
If that doesn’t work, try these tips:
HOW TO CLEAR SNOW AND ICE FROM YOUR ROOF AND GUTTERS
After a blizzard, the extra weight of all that snow and ice could add up to more than your home can bear. Here’s what you need to know about clearing snow and ice from your roof.
HOW TO PREVENT OTHER PROBLEMS CAUSED BY HEAVY SNOW
Your roof isn’t the only part of your home that can be damaged by deep snowfall. Be sure to check these other potential problem areas.
BE READY IN ANY WEATHER
At Erie Insurance, we’re always here for you – no matter what mother nature throws your way. That’s why it pays to have a local ERIE agent on your side. Talk to us to learn more about auto insurance and home insurance from ERIE.