As winter storms blast across the upper United States, dumping several inches of snow in mere moments, folks are grabbing shovels and snow blowers to dig their way out. Besides clearing driveways and walkways or access, from what other areas should snow be removed?
Check out these prime areas for snow removal, preparing even as the blizzard watch looms.
For safety and security purposes, snow should be dislodged as quickly as possible from these 10 spots.
Cautious folks will carefully sweep snow from these 10 utility and structural spots at the first safe opportunity after a significant snowfall, much like the highly anticipated Nemo of early February. For areas around delicate equipment, a shoveler might be wise to grab a soft broom.
Plenty of people enjoy a cozy fire during a winter blizzard. However, before lighting the logs, it’s important to open the flue. And before doing that, the chimney cap or top screen must be cleared of all that heavy winter white stuff.
2. Dryer vents
Too many winter house fires start with backed-up laundry dryer vents, as lint ignites and sends sparks or flames into a home. Before a winter storm hits, the homeowner or tenant needs to know where the dryer vent leads out of the dwelling, so that area can be cleared of snow for safe expulsion of that steamy air.
3. Furnace exhaust
Similarly, the area around the building’s heating system’s exhaust output must be snow-free, if the structure is heated with oil or gas. No one wants those fumes backing up into a dwelling or commercial building.
Power outages are common during the wildest winter snowstorms, when heavy snowfall sends power lines plummeting. That’s when generator sets can safely kick in, if their piping is cleared of snow.
Postal delivery continues in the worst winter weather, so it’s essential to dig out access to mailboxes or mail slots.
When the wildest snowstorms send flakes, hail, or ice chips whirling, front steps and porches can quickly become hazardous. These areas need to be cleared and salted for safety. Why risk a tumble, or even legal liabilities?
It may be dangerous to try to clear a snowy roof during a heavy winter storm, but these surfaces should be checked and cleared as soon as it’s feasible, especially when snows are heavy. No one wants a buckling or collapsing roof overhead.
8. Stove exhausts
Like the dryer and furnace venting, the oven and stove exhaust access must be cleared to the outside. Sure, the heat may melt snow that packs inside these areas, but dangerous fumes may be rerouted into the building in the meantime.
9. Utility boxes
This may sound like no emergency, but the areas around water, land-line telephone, and electrical utility boxes outside the building should be swept free of snow as soon as possible. If the winter storm knocks out power or phone service, or if a water pipe should break, access to these readouts may be immediately needed.
10. Water faucets
Most Northern dwellers shut off water to all outdoor faucets and stow hoses for the winter season. Even so, no one wants snow packed up into and around these taps for long, where it may freeze solid and crack pipes.
Removing snow from these 10 spots is considerably easier, if it is done quickly after the biggest blizzards, while the snow is still somewhat soft.
Of course, it’s a good idea to remove snow from all structural exits and window areas as well.