Tips for Sidewalk Snow and Ice Removal

Tips for Sidewalk Snow & Ice Removal

Tips for Sidewalk Snow & Ice Removal

In hopes for the desperate need of snow in the Sierra Nevada Region it is time to talk about winter weather. The freezing temperatures come with a whole lot of snow and ice that can makes maintaining your sidewalk extremely difficult. Apart from the inconvenience they create, slippery surfaces constitute risk for your health.  Furthermore, most HOA’s require you to keep your property and the surrounding area clean and safe. Otherwise you might become subject of severe penalties in the form harassing letters or. Patio cleaning is not the dream activity for filling your free time. Still, if you know how to do it properly you can save time and efforts.  


There is no escape from the good old shovel. This is the most useful but also tiring method to remove the snow. Pick a light shovel with an ergonomic handle and small blade. It’s better to push the snow instead of lifting it out of the way. Don’t try to move large quantity, because you might damage your spine. Fill only one fourth or one half of the shovel’s surface. If the snow is sticking to it, spray the tool with cooking oil. When tackling this task, do it during a warm weather. Try to remove the snow immediately, before it freezes.

Snow blower/throwers make the job much easier in higher elevation in the Reno and Washoe valley area. The larger storms in these areas average around 6”-2’ in some areas. Although there are several types of blowers out there, a single stage Toro Power Clear is the easiest and best snow blower for these types of conditions.

In case you decide to postpone the snow clearing, you should apply gravel or salt right away. Kitty litter and regular sand will also do the job. If snow storms are expected, treat your driveway with salt spray.  The downside of the defrosting solutions is that they can damage your sidewalk or put at risk your gardening.


You should be careful when you are using defrosting products, because they can eat away the concrete or destroy your landscaping. Always follow the instructions when using de-icing product. Apply it away from the building’s base.              You can combine de-icer with sand to provide better traction. Avoid products that contain Ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate. Use them moderately and only when it’s needed.

  • Sodium Chloride

Sodium Chloride or a rock salt is the most popular defrosting product. Its major downside is that it emits high quantity of chloride. This patio cleaning product can not only damage the concrete, but it will also pollute your soil. Therefore, you should avoid using this ingredient.

  • Calcium Chloride

The product is offered in the form of rounded pallets. You should not use it with bare hand, because it can cause skin irritation. Calcium chloride is a heavy ingredient that similarly to sodium chloride can have detrimental effect on the sidewalk.

  • Potassium Chloride

Unlike the calcium chloride, this product is much safer for your health and gardening. It doesn’t affect the plants’ vegetation, while it effectively melts the ice. In general this is a good choice.

  • Magnesium Chloride

This is the latest de-icing slat. It is good for melting the snow even when the temperatures fall. Another advantage is that is slightly more environmental friendly because it releases less chloride unlike products like calcium chloride and rock salt.