Don’t be put off clearing paths because you’re afraid someone will get injured. Remember, people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves.
Follow the advice from the Department for Transport below to make sure you clear the pathway safely and effectively. And don’t believe the myths – it’s unlikely you’ll be sued or held legally responsible for any injuries if you have cleared the path carefully.
Traveling IN SNOW AND SEVERE WEATHER
If you want to know about traveling in snow, find advice about driving in snow and other severe weather.
CLEAR THE SNOW AND ICE EARLY IN THE DAY
It’s easier to move fresh, loose snow rather than hard snow that has packed together from people walking on it. So if possible, start removing the snow and ice in the morning. If you remove the top layer of snow in the morning, any sunshine during the day will help melt any ice beneath. You can then cover the path with salt before nightfall to stop it refreezing overnight.
CLEAR AND PREVENT SLIPS
- Pay extra attention to clearing snow and ice from steps and steep pathways – you might need to use more salt in these areas.
- Use salt or sand – not water. If you use water to melt the snow, it may refreeze and turn to black ice. Black ice increases the risk of injuries as it is invisible and very slippery.
- You can melt snow or prevent black ice by spreading some salt on the area you have cleared. You can use an ordinary table or dishwasher salt – a tablespoon for each square meter you clear should work. Don’t use the salt found in salting bins – this will be needed to keep the roads clear unless your council advises otherwise. Please contact your local council for more advice.
- Be careful not to spread salt on plants or grass as it may damage them.
- If you don’t have enough salt, you can also use sand or ash. These won’t stop the path icing over as effectively as salt but will provide good grip underfoot.
TAKE CARE WHERE YOU MOVE THE SNOW
When you’re shoveling snow, take care where you put it so it doesn’t block people’s paths or drains. Make sure you make a path down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on. Then shovel the snow from the center of the path to the sides.
OFFER TO CLEAR YOUR NEIGHBOURS’ PATHS
If your neighbor will have difficulty getting in and out of their home, offer to clear snow and ice around their property as well. Check that any elderly or disabled neighbors are alright in the cold weather. If you’re worried about them, try contacting their relatives or friends, or if necessary the local council.
WINTER SERVICES FROM YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL
Your local council will provide many winter services such as clearing local roads and pavements in your area. For information about your council’s winter service, check its website.
This Snow Code advice comes from the Department for Transport.
Homemade Ice Snow Melt DIY for Stairs Driveways
This is a video showing a recipe for homemade ice melt to use safely on concrete. Using regular ice melt salt often breaks down concrete and ruins it over time (as what happened to my stairs that were not built right in the first place). In this video, I show you a recipe that works over time and is effective in keeping ice and snow off your stairs over time.
Recipe: 1 tsp Dawn dish soap, 1 tablespoon of Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 1/2 gallon of hot water
Even people who love winter do not enjoy one of the season’s most unpopular jobs: clearing snow and ice off their cars.
The good news is that the job can be made easier by following a few simple tips. They include:
- Turning on your front and rear defrosters as soon as you start clearing. If you have a push start, now is the time to take advantage of it.
- Give yourself more time than you think. This can be a tough job, and you may need a break or two after scraping away at ice for a long stretch of time.
- Don’t pull on frozen windshield wipers! This could totally ruin them. Instead, use an ice scraper to chip away at the ice and give the car defroster time to do its job.
- Avoid hot water. Pouring hot water on ice-cold glass can cause the glass to break. (Plus, the puddle it leaves behind can lead someone to suffer a nasty spill.)
- Use a proper snow brush. Shovels and other brushes not marketed for safe use on cars can leave behind scratches.
- Start from the top. Clear snow from the roof and work your way down—clearing the top part of the car later could undo the work you did on the bottom half of the car. And you can’t drive around with a roof full of snow anyhow.
- Consider using a deicing spray. Commercial-grade sprays can make the job faster and easier.
- Blow through a straw to let your breath melt a frozen lock. Another option is to apply a bit of hand sanitizer to your key and the door lock.
Of course, the best way to deal with winter is to park your car in a garage or carport. If that’s not possible, try taking these steps beforehand.
- Place socks over your windshield wipers and pop them up. This will help prevent them from freezing.
- Put plastic bags over mirrors. Use rubber bands to secure them into place.
- Spray a little cooking oil on rubber seals. This will help prevent them from sealing doors shut.
- Apply ice prevention spray on windows. You can find this product at auto specialty stores.
- Cover your windows. A piece of cardboard, towel or folded sheet can help prevent ice from forming on your windshield.
- Face your car east. In for the night? Then try to park your car facing east so the rising sun can help melt the snow and ice.
Clearing snow and ice off your car isn’t the most fun job, but it helps keep you and other drivers safe–and it may even be the law in your state.
Supplies: – 1 gallon of hot water – 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol – 1 teaspoon dish soap (any liquid kind)