Expressions or idioms develop in a language for good reason. Take “being snowed,” i.e., to be deceived.
Don’t laugh. There’s nothing trickier than snow. It captivates, delights, is romantic even, as it first covers the ground. But if there’s enough of it, when unprepared, we can find ourselves snowed in, snowed under, or snowed out.
Even when the snow is light, if followed by sleet, and/or warming then freezing (common in our area), a driveway or walkway can become so slick, moving your family from the front door to the car can require the skills of a Cirque de Soleil acrobat.
So here’s some winter snow tips — whether or not you are handling your own snow removal:
— Ensure your snow blower, roof rake, deicers etc. are readily at hand;
— If you have a generator, have it checked out to be sure it’s operating properly;
— Put some fresh batteries in your carbon monoxide monitor.
Speaking of snow blowers. Even an inexpensive one is better than using a shovel.
If you’re going to shovel, coat the scoop part with non-stick cooking spray.
And lastly, whether you are using a snow blower or shoveling, remove the snow in small increments — don’t try to do it all at once.
Now. The real fun begins.
Pre-Storm Driveway Preparation
No matter who will be doing the plowing of your property — a firm like our own Dix Hills Snowplowing, or on your own — even before word that a storm is approaching, “prep” your property (or have it prepped) by installing fiberglass stakes (sometimes called “plow stakes” or “snow stakes”).
Note: wood plow/snow stakes aren’t as strong as fiberglass and can be easily damaged.
The idea is to highlight where any costly Belgium Block or other edging is located, keeping it from being damaged by snow plows. For more on this, click here.
Snow can cause a lot of pressure on your roof.
One of the best ways to remove it is with a roof rake, so it’s good to have it readily on hand.
Also take a look at your gutters to make sure ice doesn’t dam them up and cause leaking into your home or attic.
Some experts recommend stringing heat cables through them, or on the roof just above the gutters.
This should be done, of course, before major snowstorms to avoid any Clark Griswald-like ice rockets from a frozen gutter fail.
Professional Snow Removal
Of course, the easiest way to handle some of this is to contact professionals like Deck and Patio’s Dix Hills Snowplowing.
In speaking with our own Office Manager, Linda LaRose, if you live in our corner of Suffolk County (Huntington/Dix Hills) and wish to have us take care of your snow removal, you can contact us with no obligation (631-549-8100).
Once we hear from you, Linda will email a contract to review and you can always call her with questions before signing on, or incurring any expense. When you make this initial contact, this would be the right time to let us know if you have any special requirements: e.g., early service, service at 1-inch (ours usually begins at 2”), sand service, if garage doors need to shoveled, mail box cleared, etc.
We can also stake the driveway for you, if you ask for it. (Note: For snow removal from roofs, you should contact a roof contractor for their specialized service.)
Now that you’re all prepared, you can sing the happy “snow” song — along with Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen: