Are you a new home owner? This is how you should shovel your driveway safely and with the best results.

Tis the season…for shoveling snow. As much as we love to look at a fresh blanket of snow in our yard, none of us like to shovel our driveway and sidewalks. For good reason, it’s cold, the snow can be heavy, and we would much rather stay inside of the warm house drinking hot chocolate and looking at the snow through the windows.

However, the snow doesn’t go away on its own, so we have to shovel it out of the way so that we can get in and out of our homes and to prevent slipping.  With that in mind, here are some simple steps for shoveling snow from your driveway with the least amount of hassle.

Step One: Make a path down the center of your driveway, from top to bottom.

Start at the top of your drive and work your way towards the street. This center path will give you a place to work from. As you shovel, avoid walking on areas that are still covered with snow. Compacted snow is tougher to remove and becomes hard and slippery.

Step Two: Work your way from the center outward.

Shovel from the path you created in Step One towards the edge of the pavement. If you can, push the snow towards the edge. If the snow is deep, only lift what you can without putting strain on your back. In really deep snow, you may need to remove the snow in layers, working from top to bottom.

Step Three: Repeat Step Two on the other side of your driveway.

Remember to pace yourself and take breaks when your body tells you that you need one. If you feel that you are beginning to sweat, remove a layer of clothes to cool down. Snow is heavy. It is frozen water, after all. Every ten inches of your average snow is equal to an inch of liquid water. That’s about 15 pounds per square foot. Wet snow will contain more water and will be even heavier. Dry powdered snow will be lighter.

Step Four: Salt as necessary.

Before the snow begins, buy a supply of salt. You might consider keeping the salt in a plastic tub or trash can with a lid. No fancy equipment is needed here. Just use a plastic cup to scoop up the salt and scatter it across your driveway. Place more salt in areas that contain ice or compacted snow.

One more thought about shoveling snow.

Eventually, the snow plow will come down your street, pushing snow from the road and into the end of your driveway. You can curse the snow plow all you want, but that’s not going to help you get rid of the snow. Snow that comes from the street is the heaviest snow you will ever shovel. It’s wet and full of sand, rocks, and road salt.

Take your time and shovel the snow to the edge of your drive. If it is piled deep, remove the snow in layers. If the snow is not deep and you can simply push the snow out of your way, even better. If you are tempted to just push the snow back into the street, just remember that the plow might be back again later.

That’s all there is to it. Now you know how to shovel your driveway.