The safety of your lawn, home, and family all depend on careful, thorough snow and ice removal in the colder parts of the U.S. and while it may be a hassle, proper snow and ice removal can be one of the most important parts of maintaining your property through the long winter months. That in mind, consider some of these simple tips and tricks to make defending your home, lawn, driveway, and loved ones as easy and painless as possible this year.

1. The Right Equipment

Using improperly maintained equipment for any home remodeling project is a poor decision which can easily lead to less reliable results or even unsafe working conditions. When it comes to snow and ice removal, be sure to stock up on high quality ice melt that won’t damage your driveway too significantly as well as an ergonomically designed shovel to reduce back strain.

2. Dust Off the Snow Blower

You may be surprised to learn that your old snow blower needs much of the same maintenance that your car does in order to reliably and safely perform. Before the first snows of winter it’s always wise to change the oil, lubricate all moving parts, tighten any loosened bolts, and overall assess what damage may have happened all year long while you weren't thinking about freezing temperatures. If you find that your snow blower is in too much of a rough state be sure to contact a trained handyman before you rush out to buy a new one. They may be able to save you a ton with just a few repairs.

3. Clear Snow Often (Especially Near the House)

It’s a hassle, to be sure, but performing snow and ice removal multiple times throughout a storm is the best way to ease the strain put on you and on your driveway, walkway, stairs, and foundation. When snow and ice are allowed to accumulate they become more difficult to remove and much more likely to cause cracks to appear in your concrete and asphalt surfaces. If these cracks appear in your home’s foundation the cost to have them repaired will be much more of a headache than pulling your boots back on.

4. Roof Snow Removal

Every winter there are dozens of stories about homes that had their roof collapse under the weight of heavy snow and ice and hundreds more which suffer from severe water damage as a result of these simple, easily removed problems. Prevent the development of ice dams and other frozen roofing threats by regularly performing roof raking or having professional roofing contractors take care of the work for you.

5. Stairs are Priority

While it’s true that clearing snow and ice from close to your foundation is important to keeping your home safe and clearing snow and ice from your driveway will sure be helpful when it comes to getting to work on time, your home’s exterior stairs should always be the first priority when it comes to snow removal. Use shoveling and ice melt to ensure that any time your family needs to safely leave your home they’ll have no problem.