There are two common methods when it comes to when to shovel snow. The first method is to wait for the snow to finish and shovel it all at once. The second method is to shovel multiple times per day as the snow accumulates throughout the day.
We will break down the advantages and disadvantage of both methods below. However, if you have a standard size driveway and are in good health, either way is fine. Just do what is convenient for you.
Waiting for the Snow to Stop Before Shoveling
- You will only have to shovel once
- Chances of extreme temperature exposure may be less
- Generally saves times
- If freezing rain comes after the snow, the snow will provide a barrier. This barrier will help deter ice from building on your driveway/sidewalks, which can be difficult to remove.
- During windy conditions, it may be best for the snow storm/wind to stop before you shovel. Wind often blows snow back onto the driveway and creates drifts. You may have just as much snow back on your driveway when you are done if you shovel in windy weather.
- Excessive snow accumulation may be difficult to shovel all at once
- There is a greater chance of the snow getting compacted from cars, people, etc. if you wait too long to shovel
- Waiting too long to shovel may be a hazard to people walking on your driveway/sidewalks
Shoveling While it is Still Snowing
- Reduces the amount of snow you have to shovel at once. For example, you may shovel 3 inches off the driveway at noon and another 3 inches off at 6 PM when it stops. The other alternative is to shovel the full 6 inches all at once at 6 PM.
- Reduce the risk of injury from lifting excessively heavy snow
- Help deter freezing at the bottom layer
- May prevent an accident from someone slipping
- Prevent cars from getting stuck in the driveway
- Provides the ability to put down salt as the snow continues to fall
- Might not be practical to shovel multiple times if snow accumulation is minimal
- Potential greater risk to slip if shoveling more than once
- Potential more exposure to frigid temperatures with multiple shoveling jobs per day
- It can be extremely exhausting
How many times a person shovels depends on a lot of variables. It may depend on such things as their health, the amount of snow, the weather, available time, and so on. You should always start by shoveling the areas that are accessed frequently. This often means clearing away from the garage door and the sidewalks for many people. You can then move on to the less traveled areas such as shoveling the deck (if needed) or side pathways around your house.