There are so many joys that come with the winter period; those careless days spent sipping hot cocoa, ice skating, playing doge balls with snow, making snow angels and snowman and the likes, that is what makes the period a beautiful time.
However, amidst all that fun, there is always this small concern tugging at the back of our minds: I got an extra chore of clearing the snow in my driveway, roof, and other places. This can be a massive drawback from one truly enjoying this season.
Clearing snow is indeed an uphill task, but it is more daunting to clear it from a gravel driveway because it is time and energy-consuming and requires carefulness.
It could be expensive if one adopts very modern and futuristic ways of clearing snows that are fast becoming the order of the day.
There are many reasons why it is important to clear snow from our driveways and other places if necessary because it helps prevent accidents that can be caused by slipping, falling, and coming out with a fracture or, worse: a broken bone.
It also helps remove certain inconveniences like getting one’s shoes wet; it is also a nice thing to do because it creates a good feeling among neighbors when their driveways are all cleared out after a heavy storm.
There are many ways of clearing snows from the driveways but clearing snow from gravel driveways is more tasking because one runs the risk of destroying the driveway, which will require reconstruction because the whole idea is clearing the snow and leaving the gravels the way they are.
What to Consider Before Clearing Snow from Driveway
There are many ways of clearing snow from a gravel driveway, and some considerations that help one make a choice include:
- The size of the area to be cleared.
- The amount of height of the snow.
- How much effort is one willing to exert?
- The amount of money one is willing to spend
- The source of power, be it electricity or gasoline.
How To Clear Snow from Gravel Driveways in 4 Simple Steps
One of the benefits of gravel driveways is that they are attractive, easy to install, and cost-effective. But they need special care when snow begins to fall on them.
Now the question is, what is the best way to clear the gravel driveway of snow yet maintain it intact? To clear snow from a gravel driveway, follow these four steps:
1. Use a Snow Blower with Skid Shoes
To effectively remove snow from a gravel driveway, snow blowers are of primary importance.
When using a snowblower to remove snow from gravel driveways, ensure that it has skid shoes to leave about an inch of snow behind.
In this way, you will reduce the chance of gravel entering the chute of the implement and getting processed.
2. Start at Upwind Section of Driveway
It is very common for snowstorms to be accompanied by heavy winds. Because of this, you should start the snow removal process from the end of the driveway that is upwind.
When using a snowblower, the chute should be directed downwind, so that snow that had already been picked up does not get blown back over the cleared area.
3. Raise Then Lower the Blower to Remove Layers
It’s a good idea to elevate the snowblower off the ground so you can remove the snow’s top layer if there’s a lot of snow on the driveway.
As soon as the upper layer of accumulation is removed, it’s time to lower the blower to remove the lower layer.
4. Clean the Snow Blower
Once you’ve cleared your driveway with your snow blower, be sure to remove any chunks of snow.
If this is not done, the equipment may end up freezing and unable to start or operate properly when it is time to use it again.
When you perform this step, pay close attention to the auger and the impeller. Alternatively, you can also investigate rear blades if you do not have a snowblower or prefer something else.
To work on a gravel driveway with a rear blade, set the outer part of the blade well behind the central portion to prevent snow from drifting onto the road. When blowing snow, set the rear edge higher if needed to remove the top layer of snow first.
How to Clear Snow from Asphalt Paved Driveway
8 Best Ways to Clear Snow from Normal Driveway
Below are some of the common ways of clearing snow from a Paved driveway.
1. Good old Shoveling
This is the most familiar tool for clearing snow because they are relatively cheap, readily available, and powered only by human strength.
Shoveling of snow is useful when the snow is wet. They can be removed in layers up to an inch of the gravel to prevent shoveling the gravels too.
Different types of shovels can be used, from the standard shovel to the ergonomic shovels that helps prevent injuries, the detached handle shovel, telescoping shovel, and the scoop shovel.
Whatever the choice of shovel for clearing snow, they must be significant and durable and should be sprayed with cooking spray, waxing products, or petroleum jelly to prevent the snow from sticking to the shovel; there are, however, some anti-stick shovels or plastic shovels that snow do not stick to.
Though shoveling can effectively clear snow from gravel driveways, the shoveler runs the risk of backache and even heart-related problems, especially if shoveling is frequent and the snow heavy.
Rakes are good tools for removing snows that are compact and not for light dustings. The rake best suited for this job should have a heavy head whose tines are close together.
Salting works for both gravel driveway and asphalt paved driveway because salt lowers the point of snow and makes the snow melt faster than it ordinarily would have.
It is best to apply salt before the snow falls because it will work more effectively than after the snow had fallen.
Different salts can be applied to clear snow, including sodium chloride, also known as common salt, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and magnesium salt.
4. Tarpaulin Use
Tarpaulin can be put on both asphalt paved driveway and gravel driveway before the snow starts so that after the now, the tarpaulin can be gently pulled out of the driveway.
This can be done only for a light dusting of snow of about 1 or 2 inches of snow. Attempting this method for a heavy storm can lead to injuries and must be avoided.
5. Leaf Blower Use
Your everyday leaf blower can be used to clear very light dusting of snow. It can be used for wet snow, which still proves too heavy for the tool; it is best for light and dry snow that can easily be cleared from the driveway.
However, care must be taken when using this improvision so that it does not damage the leaf blower.
6. Snow Blowing
These are heavy devices that are employed for clearing heavy snow. They are very effective and require less human strength; however, they are expensive, big in size, require gasoline or electricity, need a lot of maintenance, and might pose some safety concerns.
The electric-powered snow blower is best for light snow while the gasoline types are used for heavier snow clearing job but has the downside that it produces emissions that are not environmentally friendly.
There are different types, brands, and sizes, and their clearing capacity is proportional to their width. The single-auger snowblower might not prove very useful in clearing a gravel driveway, unlike the two-stage and three-stage auger snowblowers.
These machines have features and attachments, including a heated grip, ice scrapers, drift cutter, deflector shields, weight bars, lamps, and other attachments.
A skid shoe can be attached to the snowblower when clearing a gravel driveway so that it clears the snow to an inch above the ground so that it does not clear the gravels too.
7. Radiant Flooring
This is one of the most modern means of snow removal in which the need for snow removal is eliminated by a heated driveway in which the snow that falls on it melts immediately.
The driveways are electrically heated to such a degree that it is so warm that the snow that falls on it melts away immediately.
It is a very effective way of removing snow from gravel driveways. Still, it has the disadvantages that it must be installed before laying the gravel driveway, to say nothing of the enormous cost of installation and maintenance, and heating.
8. Snow Melting Mat
Here heated mats are laid on the gravel driveway, which can be turned on and off when the snow is falling or stops. These mats, when heated electrically, melt all the snow that falls on them when it is turned on.
It effectively clears snow from gravel driveways and is less expensive than the radiant flooring system; however, it still incurs electricity costs.
For effective clearing of snow from a gravel driveway, a combination of two or three of these methods can be used together.
Whatever the choices are, consider the cost of clearing the snow from the driveway and the amount of effort needed.
However, we highly recommend using machines like snow blowers to clear snow from your gravel driveway or asphalt paved driveways because they are more effective and require less effort.
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Hope this article helped you understand How To Clear Snow from Gravel Driveways. You may also want to bookmark our reviews on Ryobi Snow Blower vs Ego Snow Blower.
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