Thursday, February 23, 2012

Quick Hit: Ice Breaking Methods

Something the lady of the house and I have accumulated a lot of experience with in the past few weeks is breaking up ice. Figured given our new found and rather unfortunate learning, we would share some of our tips.

1: Don't let it become a problem. Clear the snow promptly and you won't have to deal with this issue. This means having proper tools to do so. Don't do what we did, and have so many pieces of advice and information we didn't know what choice to make. That is known as the wrong choice.

2: Much like facing a line of guys with a gun, a frontal assault isn't a good option. In this case, that means going after 12" deep ice with a shovel or breaker bar. It works, eventually, but your hands and arms will have problems with you.

3: Salt works wonders, but you have to follow up quickly. If you don't the precious open air between the ice and the ground fills back in quickly. Also, if you live in the North East of the USA at the very least, your town has sand and salt you can get for free. Don't buy it! Find out where your town roads department is.

4: Breaking a series of small holes that reach down all the way to the ground works! The  holes don't have to be huge, just big enough for sun to definitely reach the darker colored ground under the ice. Keep them clear, and they will quickly (relatively) expand, and reduce your work for clearing the ice off.

5: If you can get under the ice, levering it off in sheets and throwing it off the side of the driveway is the work efficient way to go about it. The less straight on impact you're doing the longer you will last, and the more you can clear in one go.

6: Take breaks! Hacking your way through deep ice is exhausting, and hard on your hands and arms. I've found I am most efficient when I take a break for water and a few minutes rest every hour or so.

1 comment:

  1. 7 A hatchet or a gardening shovel is often more effective than the cheap ice-picks at the store--just make sure you wear eye-protection =D