The weather outside may be frightful, but don’t fret — Canadian Tire makes it easy to Take On Winter, so you can be ready for everything that comes with it. From how to avoid common snow removal mistakes to must-haves for winter driving, we’re bringing you the tips you need to tackle winter weather with confidence.
Canada’s seasons can be tough to predict, but there’s one certainty you can rely on: at least a few times every winter, whether you expect it or not, Canadians across the country will experience a huge dump of snow that requires some back-breaking labour to get rid of.
Only this year, you’ll be ready for it. At least you will if you plan ahead with these top snow removal tips.
From getting a layer of ice melt down the night before a big storm to ensuring you’ve got a good shovel at the ready, having a snow removal gameplan is key to getting through winter without any hitches (or backaches!). Here’s how to set yourself up for success ahead of the next inevitable winter storm.
Prepare before the storm hits
Once you hear a storm is on the way, it’s time to get into preparation mode. The first thing you should do? Spread salt on your driveway, walkway and front steps before it starts snowing, so no treacherous ice forms underneath the layers of snow. An environmentally-friendly ice melter works like a charm for keeping your driveway slip-free, and will make shovelling much easier once the snow starts coming down.
Take care of your vehicles
Once you’ve spread ice melter over your driveway and sidewalk, go ahead and move your vehicles back onto your driveway or, better yet, into your garage or under your carport if you have one. If you don’t, a collapsible windshield cover can help prevent ice from forming on your windshield, which will make brushing the snow off easier and less time-consuming.
For that, a scratch-free snow brush is handy to keep in the back of your car all winter long, and if you have a taller vehicle, a snow broom is a great way to help you get at hard-to-reach roofs. Short on space? A compact ice scraper is easy to use in a pinch and can fit in most glove compartments.
Find the right snow shovel
A good shovel is absolutely imperative for avoiding back pain and fatigue. A sleigh-style shovel can help you move large amounts of snow with very little labour, while a lightweight ergonomic shovel (like this one from Yardworks) makes clearing a path easier on your arms and legs.
A small trunk shovel, meanwhile, is a great portable option, ideal for keeping in your car as part of a winter emergency kit, or tucked out of the way in your shed or garage for shoveling stairs and other small areas.
Shovel smarter, not harder
So you’ve got the right tools, and a gameplan in place. Now it’s time to take your snow removal to the next level with the help of a few clever hacks.
Looking to make life easier on your back? Try spraying your shovel with cooking spray or oil, which will help stop snow from clumping up and clinging to the plastic. Have landscaping you don’t want to ruin? Prevent accidental damage to your lawn by putting stakes around the perimeter of your driveway before it snows so you can easily see where to stop.
When it comes to getting rid of the snow, best practice is to push large amounts into piles first, and then use a smaller shovel to move it onto your lawn after that. You might also want to consider putting down more salt or ice melter to prepare for any future snowfall, or if the upcoming forecast shows a deep freeze coming your way after the storm. If you run out before you have time to get to the store to stock up, not to worry: kitty litter can work in a pinch as well.