10 Ice and Snow Removal Tips for Streets and Driveways

A vendor employing ice removal tips to remove ice and snow on a driveway

An ice and snow pile up can be aggravating and even dangerous, but there are ways to deal with it smartly

Key takeaways:

  • DIY ice removal tips include vacuuming or blowing the ice and snow away.
  • Outdoor electric heated systems can also help in removing obstinate ice. 
  • Having a heated driveway system is a good way to prevent ice buildup. 
  • The best way to get rid of snow and ice from driveways and streets is to hire professionals. 

As the weather cools and snow begins falling, ice is sure to build up on driveways and roads. This ice is a hazard that could cause injuries and lead to lawsuits, so it must be addressed. 

Removing snow and ice is not usually an easy task, however. Northern properties sometimes deal with heavy snowfall that leaves layers of snow and ice on driveways and streets – often proving to be a handful for property managers. 

Luckily, we have ten ice removal tips to make the process go a little smoother, including hiring a vendor to take care of the job completely. 

1. Cover walkways with tarps

If you are expecting snowfall, a good way to prepare your driveway, cars, and other objects is to lay tarps down on them. Once the snowfall is over, you can simply fold up the tarps with the snow inside to clear the path. 

2. Install snow melt mats

Snow melt mats can be installed on surfaces like steps and walkways. These mats are made to keep the surfaces clear of slippery ice. 

3. Use lukewarm water

You can pour lukewarm water on icy surfaces and then use a squeegee to prevent additional ice from forming by removing runoff immediately. This method can be applied to steps, doorways, door locks, and other surfaces. 

4. Utilize a shovel and cooking spray

Shoveling away snow is the most common way people get rid of it. It can cause an injury, though, if your shovel continually gets stuck, and it might not be effective on heavy, wet snow that’s difficult to get rid of.  

A hack for removing the snow quicker is to use cooking spray. Just spray some cooking spray onto a shovel to help it move through the snow quicker and prevent it from sticking to your shovel.  Make sure to wipe the shovel completely afterward before placing it Back in storage to avoid a sticky mess. 

5. Salt it

Salt is a known, temporary deicer that’s best used in moderation. To prevent a hard frost from forming on your car windshield overnight, put table salt in a sock and rub it over the entire window the night before. 

Only do this sometimes, as repeated use can damage surfaces. Salty liquids like pickle juice can also be used as a spray de-icing agent. 

6. Vacuum

A good wet/dry vacuum can be used as an effective snow removal tool. The vacuum sucks up snow, which can be dumped somewhere else. This activity requires some physical activity and effort.

As with all gadgets, this one also needs proper maintenance. Moreover, it is not an inexpensive item to buy and maintain.  

7. Blow it away

Snow blowing is a less strenuous removal activity. 

Unfortunately, snow blowers can be expensive. They average hundreds to thousands of dollars and require a lot of power to run. These machines need regular maintenance, too. 

8. Install a driveway heating system

A heated driveway system is a very cool concept that usually involves either mats or cables. The cables are embedded directly in the driveway’s concrete, asphalt, or mortar to heat the surface. 

A driveway heating system feels the first sign of precipitation below the freezing point to ensure an ice-free surface. This makes safety and efficiency certain as the cables only get activated and start heating the surface once the temperature falls below the freezing point. 

9. Implement a hydronic system

A hydronic snowmelt system uses an anti-freeze solution that’s heated to 140 to 180 degrees. This system is one of the more recent innovations and can efficiently melt snow on driveways and walkways. 

The antifreeze solution has the additional benefit of preventing any risk of frozen pipes, which can often lead to damage, causing repair costs. 

10. Hire a qualified vendor

Hiring a vendor for ice and snow removal is the fastest and best solution to this problem. Hiring someone for the task often has no upfront costs. You also usually have the option to settle a per-visit price or establish a winter contract. 

Before you start looking for a vendor, you will first have to figure out your particular snow removal requirements. This means that you will have to know whether you need snow removal services or snow plowing services. 

Snow removal methods usually involve shoveling or snow blowing. This is a better-suited option for relatively small areas as it would prove to be more cost-effective. 

Snow plowing is done by using a blade mounted on a vehicle, which is used to push the snow to the side of a surface. Snow plowing is an effective and practical solution for long driveways and commercial spaces. 

Use VendorSmart to find professional snow and ice removal services

Snow and ice removal can be a pain, but there are ways to make it easier with the tips above. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to do it all yourself, especially if you manage multiple properties. 

VendorSmart is an online platform that will help you find qualified, vetted vendors for all your property management needs. Our platform and complimentary services make managing vendor compliance and sourcing vendors for your projects, such as snow and ice removal, a breeze.

Whether you’re managing five or hundreds of thousands of homes, we help make your vendor management process seamless and efficient, while at the same time minimizing the risk profile of the vendors that work in your communities. Contact us today for more information.