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The Surprising Effectiveness of Leaf Blowers for Light Snow Removal

The Surprising Effectiveness of Leaf Blowers for Light Snow Removal

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As much as some of us may wish otherwise, snow is a very real part of living in colder climates. While it has a certain aesthetic beauty to it, there is the problem of having to remove it from driveways and walkways that can be a real pain.

Every year, many of us are tasked with keeping our pathways clear and free of snow. In the old days, shoveling was the only way to achieve this. Sure, buying a shovel was inexpensive and it doesn’t take a degree to figure out how to shovel snow.

The problem is that shoveling can be major physical labor and some simply cannot endure that kind of physical stress.

So, that begs the question of how to remove the now without being able to shovel. Thankfully, there are quite a few methods that can be implemented.

Can a Leaf Blower Remove Snow?

This can be some what of a no-brainer, especially for those who have a leaf blower on hand to keep their property tidy and leaf-free. After all, it only makes sense to use that same application to blow the snow away, right?

In most cases, yes, a leaf blower can remove snow rather easily. The more powerful the leaf blower you have, the easier the process should be. But there are a couple of things that you will want to keep in mind if you decide to go this route.

The first is that leaf blowers are not precise. A leaf blower is just meant to push debris around, like leaves off of a walkway or porch. It might take a little extra time to properly clean off a walkway, driveway, or sidewalk because it will take a few extra passes to clear off all of the snow.

The second is that it depends on the type of snow involved. If the snowfall is fresh and powdery, it should be relatively easy to use the leaf blower to remove the snow.

Where issues can arise is when the snow gets packed down or becomes heavy and sludgy. This can make the snow a bit too dense and heavy for the leaf blower to move unless you have a heavy-duty blower.

The benefits of using a leaf blower, however, are obvious. They are lightweight and relatively easy to use. That makes it easy to simply grab the leaf blower and begin blowing the snow out of the way.

It also means no rigorous physical labor. This can be helpful to those with bad backs or knees, as well as the elderly who are not physically able to shovel.

Keep in mind that leaf blowers are generally not meant to be used for a long period of time. If you have a large pathway, driveway, or sidewalk, be careful not to overwork the blower. It could lead to the blower becoming less effective or burning out completely.

If you don’t have a leaf blower on hand, however, there are more than a few effective ways to get the snow out of your way.

Using Stakes

Before we get to how to remove the snow effectively, safety is always a good idea, especially when it comes to the elements.

Living in a particularly snowy area can leave a heavy blanket of snow. That means that your walkways, driveway, and lawn can all look like the same frozen tundra.

Using stakes helps to delineate where the driveway and walkways are. This is helpful if you do decide to shovel or go with a plowing company.

You might think you know precisely where the driveway or walkways are, but that can change when you are staring down a few feet of snow.

Stakes can make your life easier, allowing you to skip potentially clearing snow from the grass instead of the footpaths that you require.

Snow Blowers Are a Worthwhile Investment

Shoveling is not only a rigorous physical activity, it can also be quite tedious. Dig the shovel into the snow, push, scoop, throw. Rinse and repeat. This can go on and on for hours, making it not only tiring but incredibly boring as well.

Investing in a snow blower is one of the smartest investments that you can make. It is just that, however: an investment. The reason people shovel is because it is the least expensive method of removing snow in a pinch.

A snowblower can run you at least a few hundred dollars and it only escalates from there depending on the model you choose. Still, for the amount of money you invest in one of these machines, it will no doubt be worth it if you get your use out of it.

Snowblowers remove snow in a much quicker manner than shoveling does. This means less rigorous work, less sweat equity, and no more tediousness. A quality snowblower should make short work of mid-size areas, allowing you to spend more time doing the things you enjoy.

While a snowblower seems like the most no-brainer of options, there are two things to keep in mind: space and maintenance.

Keeping your snowblower working properly for a long time means giving it the proper care it needs. It also means having space to store the thing, whether that is in a garage or a separate shed area.

Still, when it comes to simply getting rid of the snow, a blower is the most effective option there is. Living in an area with heavy snowfall can make a snowblower a must-have piece of equipment.

Invest in a Plow

The easiest path is to simply call in a plow service to do the work for you. While that is both easy and convenient, it can also add up quickly. Paying for plowing costs can begin to get too pricey if snowfalls are persistent and heavy.

For those with trucks or heavy SUVs, investing in a plow may be a good idea. Owning a plow can be beneficial in two ways. The first is that it makes removing snow in your own pathways and driveway easier than just about anything else.

The second is that having a plow can lead to additional income if you are so inclined. During the winter in areas with heavy snowfall, plows are in demand. You could look into local businesses that require plowing services and offer them up at a reasonable rate.

Doing this enough can add up quickly and allow you to make up for the costs of buying the plow.

Which brings us to the only downside of the plow itself. These are a substantial investment, far more than a snow blower. Most snow plows will cost upwards of $1,000 and only become more expensive the bigger and better they get.

Making that kind of upfront investment is not something that everyone can do. Not only that, recouping the costs sounds easy but it takes time to do. Plowing area businesses can begin to really cut into your free time, practically leaving you with two jobs.

So, while a snowplow can certainly be an effective way to clear out your own driveway and make a few extra bucks, there are factors to keep in mind.

Just Shovel

It might not be the most attractive of methods but there is a reason why many people opt to simply shovel their driveways and walkways. It is the least expensive method on the list and you can get into certain areas that a snowblower or snow plow just can’t.

For those who have the ability to shovel, you can look at it like this. Shoveling is a good workout and can be an effective way to stay fit.

Shoveling that heavy, wet snow can be a rigorous workout and it will likely take a little bit of time to ensure that all of the areas have been cleared.

Most importantly, you can go to just about any grocery, hardware, or big box store and find a shovel. Just make sure that you invest in a quality shovel.

Getting one that bends frequently not only makes it more difficult to shovel effectively, it could break and leave you in need of a new shovel.

It may sound corny, but shoveling can also instill a sense of pride, too. There is nothing quite like putting in the hard work to get something done and seeing the finished product.

This can be true when it comes to shoveling snow away from your walkways, driveways, and sidewalks as much as anything else.

Dealing with snow is just a part of life for some areas. Finding the best ways to effectively manage that snow can be aggravating. Really, no one wants to deal with having to remove snow, but it is a reality that most of us must face.

However you decide to handle the problem, there are effective ways out there to do so. Leaf blower, snowblower, snowplow, or just good old-fashioned elbow grease can all get the job done.


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Peter Hill

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Great article; thanks. You left out the dozer blade attachment for a garden tractor. Though cumbersome to take on and off twice a year, it's much cheaper than the SUV snowplow, and it works great in wet snow, which can clog some snowblowers.