On Wednesday's The Early Show, Danny Lipford, the host of "Today's Homeowner," will give some snow removal tips and show some products that will make it easier.
Lipford says if you have a driveway or sidewalk, it's a good idea to first mark the outside edges of the driveway, so you will know where the driveway starts and the yard begins if you have a heavy snowfall. Mark it by using small wooden stakes and just drive several of them in the ground and then you will know exactly where the outline of the driveway is. Take a 3 feet long stake and drill it into the ground a few inches. The length of the stake you should use depends on how much snow is expected. You can also buy driveway markers for about $2.29 each.
There are several de-icers that are available. Lipford demonstrated a product called, "Bare Ground," which is a chemical product that you should spray before it snows. He says it prevents hard ice from forming and it makes snow removal easier.
Bare Ground De-icer, about $44.95 per gallon
Once you begin to shovel, consider the following:
You can use liquid floor wax on the shovel, which reduces the friction because it makes the shovel a slicker surface as you are scraping the shovel through the snow, says Lipford. It also keeps the snow from sticking to the shovel itself and that makes it less heavy when you're working. Waxing will also help keep it from rusting.
A shovel usually costs about $15 to $20.
EZ Rolling Snow Shovel, about $48.99
This version of a shovel makes it even easier to clear a sidewalk or driveway, according to Lipford. It has a roller and the shovel is a little heavier. It helps to hold it down while you are scraping it along. Lipford says it's particularly good for flat surfaces. Think of it like a mini-bulldozer that pushes larger amounts of snow out of the way. It should be used in conjunction with a regular shovel.
Toro Electric Power Shovel, about $99
For a slightly large area, Lipford recommends using a mini-electric power shovel. He says the Toro Shovel speeds up the shoveling process.
Snow Blowers and Snow Throwers
Things that you have to consider before buying a snow thrower or snow blower are:
The single-stage models usually have smaller clearing paths and lower horsepower than dual-stage models. The term snow blower and snow thrower are often used interchangeably.
Toro CCR 2450 R GTS (model #38515; THD sku # 713-432, gas single-stage snow thrower), about $539
Yard Machine Snow Blower (model E660F), about $899
Snow Cutter Roof Remover
Lipford suggests safely removing snow from your roof to prevent the snow from accumulating and reduce the weight on the house. Also, removing the lower part of the snow off the edge of the roof will allow the gutters to continue working when the snow starts melting. Removing some of the accumulation of snow will prevent any "ice dams" from forming. This is a condition where as the snow accumulates, it gets into your gutter and possibly freezes. As the snow starts melting, it can dam up the water and force it under the shingles and into the house.
Snow Cutter Roof Rake, about $74.95
This equipment has a telescoping pole that allows you to pull the snow off of the edges of the roof.
Removing Snow From Cars
Lipford says there's nothing worse than getting stuck in the snow. Most of the time when you do, there is the lack of traction, which will get you stuck. Lipford recommends the following products to make the job easier.
Windshield Ice Scraper - Ice Dozer, about $14.95
Truckers Unstuckers, about $29.95