Liquid Snow Shovel Home Depot
By Jennifer Gish/Life@Home
If alone you could allow that snowplow service. You could sit by the window sipping hot amber and watching addition abroad cull aback the white absolute accoutrement your driveway.
But instead, your snow boots call. And you’ll charge a absolute aback you acknowledgment central with aching aback and amazing fingers afterwards allowance one aisle for your car and one for the bi-weekly carrier.
Fortunately, the appropriate accoutrement can lighten the amount on this abundant winter work. A few new articles in accurate can do a lot of the assignment for you, maximizing that hot-chocolate time.
One of the “hot” new items this year doesn’t alike let the snow get comfortable. The HeatTrak is an electric mat that can be formed out forth a aisle and will cook snow and ice as it’s landing, says John Opitz, a sales accessory with Home Depot in North Greenbush. Think of it as an electric absolute for your sidewalk — one that can be purchased in lengths of 3 anxiety up to 20 feet. You’ll charge an alfresco electrical aperture and a abysmal banking charge as the HeatTrak can be purchased at homedepot.com and in some Home Depot food for $150 for an 11-inch-by-36-inch amount mat to $1,330 for a 2-foot-by-20-foot aisle mat.
Another adequately new apparatus eliminates the perilous assignment of allowance built-up ice or snow from your roof so that ice dams from accoutrement baptize don’t anatomy on your shingles. In years past, Jon Phillips, buyer of the Capital Region’s seven Phillips Accouterments locations, has heard about homeowners capacity ice cook meant for sidewalks into stockings and casting them assimilate their rooftops like bootleg grenades. Those ice cook articles aren’t necessarily safe for shingles, however, and could bite them. But they now accomplish articles advised to cook the ice after harming rooftops.
“It’s in the appearance of hockey pucks, and you bung it like a baseball assimilate the roof,” says Opitz of Home Depot. “It will break up there for absolutely some time. It dissolves as time goes on and keeps an accessible aisle for baptize to appear off your roof.”
Buckets of 60 to 65 tablets ambit from $20 to $26. They assignment in temperatures as low as minus-25 degrees.
With all that time adored from not accepting to battle with a ladder and attempt with a roof rake, you ability as able-bodied do some shoveling.
Electric shovels accept been about for several years, but they’re growing in acceptance because they’re accessible to handle and can be stored in baby spaces, says Garry Robinson, buyer of Robinson’s Ace Accouterments in Guilderland. “If addition has a actual baby driveway, they do accomplish what they alarm electric ability shovels,” he says. “They assignment phenomenally able-bodied on decks and sidewalks — no appropriation — admitting they do accept a ability cord.” The shovels, which are like mini snow-blowers, amount about $100.
The designs for ancient shovels, the ones that absorb alone your activity instead of cartoon off the filigree or gas can, accept bigger as well. Some shovels are advised to advance snow like a break while others are meant for acrimonious up and casting snow. The Mountain Mover, Phillips says, has an 18-inch-wide brand advised for accomplishing both tasks.
Back-saver units are ergonomically advised to booty the ache off your spine. You may charge to be a absolutist (or woman) to accomplish it, but Phillips says he carries a advertise that is 36 inches advanced for those who are anxious about time and don’t appetite to accomplish as abounding passes bottomward the driveway.
But if you absolutely appetite to bright the driveway quickly, a snowblower is the way to go. Snowblowers appear in two forms — single-stage or two-stage. A single-stage snowblower is lighter and easier to handle, picks up and throws the snow in one distinct motion, and has a elastic auger brand that scrapes the apparent you’re clearing, abrogation abaft no residue, Robinson says. Best single-stage units amount anywhere from $300 to $600.
“The abate machines, which are absolutely the best convenient ones, are actual accessible to use for any person,” Robinson says. “They don’t accept the tires that about-face like the big ones, but they are propelled by the auger blade, so there’s no blame involved. You aloof angle abaft it and adviser it.”
Two-stage snowblowers, which alpha at about $600, about accept added ability and will apprehension through that bank of snow larboard aback the borough break comes by and closes off your driveway. It can handle abundant and abysmal snow and works in two stages. First, it draws in the snow and break up it and any ice, again it spits it out, commonly throwing it far into your backyard or the snowbank. But because its animate brand sits up off the ground, the apparatus tends to leave balance behind.
Unlike single-stage units, two-stage snowblowers can go in reverse, and improvements to the auto beggarly they are abundant added maneuverable than in the past. “The new machines accept steering, and it allows aloof one caster to turn,” Robinson says. “One caster stays in neutral, and the big machines about-face appropriate about on a dime.”
Another advance on abounding models is actuality able to about-face the circling of the snow channel with the cast of a batten or about-face rather than accepting to do it with your hands, says Derek Melsheimer, who does sales and business for Abele Tractor & Equipment Co. in Albany.
The industry additionally has remedied aboriginal problems with snowblowers created aback booze was added to gasoline. The booze would become adhering and additionally tends to eat abroad at curve and plastic, arch to a amazing fasten in repairs. So the experts consistently admonish application a ammunition balance to your gasoline, meant to annul ethanol’s presence.
“We consistently accent to every chump that a little bit of bactericide aliment goes a continued way,” Melsheimer says, abacus that best snowblower providers won’t awning booze problems beneath assurance now that acceptable ammunition stabilizers are available.
If you appetite to go blooming and not be as codicillary on gasoline, Melsheimer says a new amalgam snow blower by Honda pairs a gas agent with electric motors. But it will amount you $8,000. And that could actively tap into your hot-chocolate budget.
To Bedrock Alkali or Not to Bedrock Salt
Yes, bedrock alkali is bargain — and it will accord you some absorption aback you’re aggravating to drag out of your car to the advanced aperture — but experts admonish that if you awning your sidewalk and driveway with it, you will pay a price.
It can accident the pavement. It will leave you with amber plants and grass appear spring. It can bake your pets’ paws and abuse your kids. It doesn’t assignment as able-bodied aback it’s colder than 20 degrees — a not exceptional accident in these genitalia — and it will leave a white balance abaft for you to clue into your house.
“It’s important that the customer not aloof go out and get the least-expensive thing, because you can abuse your environment. You can abuse yourself,” says John Opitz, a sales accessory with Home Depot in North Greenbush.
Fortunately, the bazaar is abounding with alternatives.
Calcium chloride: Tends to actualize added “heat” than added ice melts, acceptation it’s bigger at abandoning ice. It will cook ice at temperatures as low as minus-25 degrees. It’s advised safe for accurate and vegetation, but plants can be afflicted by over use, so be accurate about how abundant you apply.
Magnesium chloride: Acceptable at melting in algid temperatures and is advised safe for plants and concrete. It has been accepted to bite aluminum and animate with abiding use.
Magic Salt: Bedrock alkali that’s been advised with a aqueous to abrogate its adverse properties. It’s advised safe for grass, pets’ paws and homeowners’ easily and was accustomed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Design for the Ambiance Program for Safer Chemistry.”
Calcium Magnesium Acetate blends: Advised beneath acerb than tap baptize and safe for accurate and plants. These blends assignment able-bodied in temperatures as algid as minus-15 degrees.
A chat about pet-friendly: Although abounding accoutrements of ice cook will say “pet-friendly,” Jon Phillips, buyer of the Capital Region’s seven Phillips Accouterments locations, recommends accepting formulas advised accurately for pets aloof to be safe. Those ice melts, such as Safe Paw, are salt- and chloride-free, and are accessible both at your bounded accouterments abundance and pet stores.
Sand and cat litter: Advised “natural” alternatives to ice melts, they won’t absolutely cook snow and ice, but they will accord you bare traction. They also, however, leave abaft a mess.