Snow Removal

4 Snow Removal Tips


smittys-snow-removalAn inevitable part of winter in Chicago is snowfall… and a lot of it. Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to remove snow from your property.

Of course, shoveling snow and scraping ice is no simple task. It requires a great deal of time, effort, and energy. For this reason, you want to make it as simple a process as possible.

How do you simplify the show removal process? Here are 5 snow removal tips to help you do so.

1. Buy High-Quality Tools

Have you ever tried pushing snow with a flimsy, plastic or aluminum shovel? If so, you’ve probably experienced some of the most intense frustration known to humankind.

Manufacturers create these shovels because they know consumers will buy them for bargain prices. The only problem is that they don’t work. They might suffice for a small sidewalk, but are in no way equipped to handle a full driveway.

Instead of buying one of these shovels, opt for a steel one. Steel shovels may cost more in the short-term, but will last through years and years of heavy use, paying for themselves many times over in the long run.

For more information on what shovels to use, click here.

2. Use Salt

After you’ve shoveled snow off a surface, there is typically still a thin layer of snow remaining. If you allow this layer of snow to sit unscathed, it will eventually turn into ice. In many cases, a sheet of ice is even more hazardous than a pile of snow.

In order to melt this ice, you would be best served by using salt. The reason that salt is effective at melting ice is that it’s capable of lowering the freezing point of liquid. So, when snow melts, instead of turning into ice, it just slowly evaporates.

There are special salts available on the market which are specifically designed for snow removal. It’s recommended that you opt for these and not typical table salt.

3. Shovel Early and Often

Perhaps the cardinal sin of snow removal is waiting for it to stop snowing and then trying to remove said snow. This will work in occasions of light snow, but when it gets heavy, it opens you up to a number of problems.

The primary problem you’ll run into is that the snow is just too heavy. Trying to push and lift up a 1-foot pile of snow with a shovel is no simple task. The higher it stands, the more it packs together. And the more it packs together, the harder it is to separate from the surface.

By shoveling several times as the snow is falling, you are able to minimize the size of piles. This makes removal a great deal easier overall.

4. Call in a Professional

Maybe your driveway commercial parking lot is absolutely covered in snow? Perhaps snow is iced down and impossible for you to remove? Maybe you just don’t feel like expending any energy? In any case, calling in a professional snow removal service would be a viable solution.

Snow removal services have all of the resources necessary to remove snow quickly and effectively. Plows, salt dispensers, and other implements will have your driveway entirely cleared off within hours.

This last of our snow removal tips might involve paying a little money, but at least you won’t have to waste your time and energy.

Seeking Professional Snow Removal in Chicagoland?

Do you live in Alsip or somewhere else in the Chicago area? Are you in need of professional snow removal services? If so, look no further. We here at Smitty’s Tree and Arbor Service have got you covered.

Though our focus is on trees, we are well experienced in removing snow from both residential and commercial properties. We’ll have your driveway cleared and open for business in no time.

Contact us to schedule an appointment!

4 Snow Removal Tips2019-04-21T03:23:53+00:00

5 Reasons to Rely on Professional Snow Removal


On February 2, 2015, Chicago residents woke up to more than 19 inches of snow on the ground. Over the weekend, the fifth largest blizzard to ever hit Chicagoland produced nearly non-stop snowfall and wind gusts up to 45 mph.

While a few lucky individuals decided to spend the day indoors, many more people had to suffer through a rough commute. Trains experienced mechanical failures, and minor accidents cluttered the roadways.

On days like these, many homeowners have to decide the best way to make it to work. Should they shovel their walkways and driveways themselves, or should they hire a professional to remove the snow for them?

If you’re not sure which works best for you, consider these top reasons to rely on professional snow removal services.

1. You Protect Your Health

Shoveling snow is backbreaking work. Literally. According to the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, an average of 11,500 injuries occur each year due to snow-shoveling. The most common injuries involved soft tissue damage, lacerations, and fractions. However, the lower back was the most frequently injured region of the body.

Gary Smith, MD, DrPH warns that shoveling increases the heart’s workload and the cold temperatures add to the chances of experiencing a heart attack. If you are at-risk for cardiovascular disease, hire someone else remove the snow for you, or at least consult with a doctor before undertaking the job.

2. You Protect Yourself Against Liability

As a homeowner, you have the responsibility to exercise reasonable care and maintenance for your property. You must make sure your stairs and sidewalks are completely clear of ice and snow so potential visitors can stay safe.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for a passing neighbor or pedestrian to fall on your sidewalk. A few inches of snow can hide all sorts of cracks or debris in your sidewalk, making it difficult to navigate safely. If someone slips and falls on your property, you may have liability for his or her injuries.

Furthermore, the City of Chicago requires everyone to keep sidewalks clear. If you do not shovel the ice and snow from your sidewalks, you may face a fine up to $50, and that fine may increase for every day you fail to comply with the ordinance.

3. You Protect Your Property

Although your driveway may look like solid concrete, a closer look reveals tiny pores in its surface. As the snow and ice collect and then melt on your driveway, the water seeps into the pores and then refreezes with cold weather. As the water freezes, it expands, resulting in cracking and pitting. Soon, you may need to fill in gaps with sand or you may have to re-pave your driveway.

If you shovel your driveway yourself, you may be tempted to use ordinary rock salt to de-ice your property. Rock salt helps melt the snow and reduces the risk of water refreezing on your concrete. However, rock salt only offers protection in temperatures of 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on weather severity, areas in Chicago may see temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Instead of relying on typical rock salt, many professional snow removal companies rely on calcium chloride. These de-icing pellets can resist re-freezing at temperatures of -25 degrees. This protects your driveway against the damaging freezing and thawing cycle.

4. You Can Sleep a Little Sounder and a Little Longer

When storms blow in, you have a lot more to worry about than finding a matching pair of mittens. You may feel anxious about supplying your home with alternative power, or perhaps you feel the dread of knowing that you have to get up hours earlier to scrape your driveway enough to pull out of your garage. Maybe you fear driving in bad weather and sliding into a ditch. These fears can keep you up at night, making it difficult to sleep.

When you hire a professional to remove your snow, you can alleviate some of your fears. You can expect the removal service to clear your driveway and sidewalk at a set time, so you can make it to work without the worry. You can wake up at your usual hour and feel well rested and ready for the day.

5. You Save Time and Money

While you could try to keep your driveway and sidewalks clear of ice and snow, you may be fighting an uphill battle. Just as you clear away a foot or two, Mother Nature may come roaring in with even more snow. You waste hours salting and scraping when you could spend that time doing more important, productive, and lucrative activities.

Many professional snow removal companies offer great deals for seasonal services. If the winter looks particularly harsh, you could order packages that will guarantee snow removal for a competitive rate. If the weather looks mild, you could order a one-time service. You can pick and choose your options based on your budget.

These are just a few benefits you can expect when you opt for a professional snow removal service. If snow threatens to cover your driveway, don’t hesitate to call on a professional.

5 Reasons to Rely on Professional Snow Removal2019-04-21T03:48:54+00:00