How to Remove Snow From a Driveway

Don't Throw Away Those Shovels Just Yet

Winter Storm and Snow Shovel leaning against car in Driveway.
Jim Jurica/Getty Images

What is the best way to remove snow from a driveway? There is certainly still a place for good old-fashioned snow shovels, even in today's hi-tech world. By following a few easy shoveling tips, you should be able to remove snow from driveways safely, comfortably, and efficiently:

Of course, you can always consider a snowblower. In certain situations, having a small electric snowblower may prove helpful.

Efficiency

Efficiency takes a number of forms when shoveling snow. The first trick is put into action while you're still in the house: Spray cooking oil on the blade of your shovel so that, when you remove snow from the driveway and attempt to fling it into a pile (on the lawn, for example), the snow will not stick to the blade. As an alternative to cooking oil, you can wax the blade with candle stumps.

Here are a couple more efficiency tricks to implement, once you go out into the driveway and begin to remove snow:

  • Don't walk or drive all over the snow before you start shoveling it. This will pack it down and make shoveling harder.
  • Do not remove snow (in a thorough manner, at least) where the driveway intersects the street until last, since plows may well push more snow into your driveway while you're in the process of shoveling. It is frustrating to think that you are all done and don't need to remove snow again until the next storm, only to see the plow come by five minutes later and dump a wall of snow in front of your driveway.
  • When you remove snow from the driveway and toss it somewhere, make sure you're not tossing it some place where it will be in the way. For example, do not block access to your outdoor storage shed with snow piles.

Speaking of clearing winter's precipitation off your driveway, an unexpected problem you may encounter in late winter with solid-surface (such as asphalt) drives is puddling. As all of that snow melts, there is nowhere for the water to go (unless your driveway is situated on a slope). Worse yet, if freezing temperatures return, the puddle turns into a dangerous sheet of ice. This would rarely be a deal-breaker, in and of itself, when it comes to choosing a driveway material. But if you are torn between having a solid surface versus a permeable material (such as gravel), it could be the deciding factor that tips the scales in favor of the latter.