Snow Shoveling Etiquette For Michigan Residents
As we move into the latter months of the winter, we should expect to see more snow before the weather gets nicer. Some of us love watching the pretty white flakes fall from the sky, while others dread watching it fall from the sky because they know what's coming later.
Shoveling is one of those activities that most of us don't look forward to and many have foregone the old-school shovel and use the modern-day snowblower. No matter your snow-clearing methods there are right and wrong ways to go about it, here is some basic shoveling etiquette for the young newcomers just getting started and for the long-time veterans who may need a refresher.
Shoveling is one of those activities that no one wants to do but it has to be done but doing it the right way can make it easier. The strategy and form in which you remove snow are important and could be the difference between a 45-minute-to-an-hour job and a 2-hour job. Especially in Michigan, those snowstorms can really make shoveling seem like an awful idea, but here are some tips to make it easier.
Snow Shoveling Etiquette For Michiganders
The physical form you use when shoveling is vital to efficient snow removal and to keep yourself safe in the process. It's key to have two hands on your shovel at all times, a firm grip keeps the shovel in your hand and helps with launch power.
The next part is bending your knees and shoveling with your whole body and not your back. This is much like lifting weights, where your technique could be the reason you fly through or the reason you are hurt. A strong, sturdy base where the motion drives from the hips and knees is best.
Also, along with form comes proper shoveling gear. You should have a fully functioning shovel, gloves, boots, multiple layers, a coat, and a hat as the basics. Keeping yourself warm with the proper winter attire and having a working shovel is half of the battle.
The next part of shoveling is where to throw your snow when you are clearing your driveway and sidewalk. Now, keep in mind that you must clear the public sidewalk and walkway to your mailbox by law, and clearing your driveway will help anyone who may need to use it, including emergency services.
When clearing off your sidewalk the best place to throw the snow sitting on your shovel is in your yard. This seems like common sense, but you would be surprised the amount of people who just push the pile of snow until it's no longer in their property boundaries. This allows for a clear walkway for pedestrians and keeps snowbanks from forming on sidewalks.
The driveway is a little simpler as the main portion of your driveway will be used by your family vehicles and should be cleared side to side, using the yard and bushes as disposable places. When reaching the portion of your driveway that connects to the street it is important to note that you shouldn't push your snow into the street.
This will only cause the snow to end up back in your own driveway or the driveway of your neighbor's home when the snowplows come through to clear the road. The best option is to continue to use the side-to-side method and pile the snow within the yard.
Also, using a snowblower makes this job the easiest as the fine mist of snow will spray into the yard out the side of the machine and won't leave piles or snowbanks along your sidewalk or driveways.
Lastly, being helpful around your neighborhood during the winter months is always a kind and appreciated gesture that pays dividends later in life. If you are already out shoveling and noticed your neighbors haven't yet, take a few extra minutes to clear their sidewalk/driveway.
Or if you know that some of your neighbors are elderly, bedridden due to diseases, injury, or illness, or are simply away on vacation or work you can make their lives easier by clearing their driveway and sidewalk for them to come home to.
Unless a neighbor has expressed they don't want help or are nitpicky about their property then it is safe to help and will most likely be reciprocated in some way in the future; remember those who are helped, will help.