How to Shovel Snow Properly

When our driveways are covered in snow, we either remove the snow with snow blowers or - the old school way - using shovels. Although shoveling snow can be a difficult task, it can be accomplished easily with proper guidance. The following tips will help you shovel snow safely and efficiently:

  • If possible, plan to push the snow using a shovel designed for this purpose. Pushing snow is much less physically demanding than lifting.
  • If you have to lift snow, choose a shovel that has a bend on the handle which will help prevent back injuries.
  • Pick a plastic shovel instead of a metal one to reduce lifted weight.
  • Plan to shovel snow as soon as the snowfall settles, but not at night. Do it early in the day, when the snow is lighter and less compact.
  • Dress in light layers and choose clothing that allows easy movement. Don’t forget to also wear gloves, a hat and proper boots.
  • Prepare your body for the physical work. Stretch your muscles and focus on your back, arms and legs.
  • Spread salt, sand or kitty litter on the ground if it’s slippery. This will provide traction for your boots.
  • Protect your back at all times when shoveling snow:
    • Keep one hand close to the blade and the other close to the tip of the handle.
    • Use your leg muscles to lift the snow, instead of your back.
    • Bend your knees to get lower, keep your back straight and hold the shovel close to your body.
    • Shovel small loads of snow at a time to reduce the effort.
    • Avoid tossing snow. Instead, walk towards the area where you deposit the snow and then discard it calmly.
    • If you must throw snow, don’t twist your body. Step towards the area you want to throw, and throw the snow when your feet are facing that area. 
    • Take short breaks frequently and drink water to keep hydrated.

Also remember that you must remove snow from your roofs. Read these tips to learn how to safely remove snow from roofs. For professional fire, water and mold restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.

PuroClean is a leading commercial and residential restoration franchising company.  Founded in 2001, the company offers fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation and remediation, and biohazard cleanup and removal throughout the United States and Canada through its franchise network of 240 offices. Learn more.