How to Clear Snow from a Driveway Without Using a Shovel

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How to Clear Snow from a Driveway Without Using a Shovel

Stay ahead of snow buildup with these basic management tactics that eliminate the need for a shovel. Some of these ideas will help you melt snow while you're away for the day, while others will help you manage the snowfall while you're huddled by the fire. A self-propelled snowblower can help, but instead of bending over, try these ideas.

De-Icer the Surface

Regular upkeep to prepare the driveway surface for snowfall can help keep accumulation at bay. The goal of many de-icing products is to remove ice and make it easy to avoid having to shovel snow driveway throughout the winter. This strategy works best in areas that only get a few inches of snow at a time, rather than those that get eight or more every day.

Salt ice

"Magnesium chloride is the newest deicing salt," says the New York Landmarks Conservancy. It melts snow and ice up to -13 F. The salt emits 40% less chloride than rock salt or calcium chloride.

Pouring de-icer on the driveway or walkways with sand adds extra traction.

Hot Water on Snow

When temperatures climb, connect a sprayer hose to an interior hot water spigot. Spraying snow as it falls eliminates the need to shovel and manages the amount of snow on your driveway. Add sand to help with traction on ice.

If you don't have hot water, fill a garden watering can with hot tap water, dish soap, and 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol. Water your driveway with it (and especially over the packed tracks created by your vehicles as they attempt to travel down the driveway, and at the end of your driveway, where plows inevitably dump lots of packed snow). The components will begin to melt the snow while also treating the underlying ice buildup.

Leaf Blower

If you thought you could store a powerful leaf blower after the fall, think again. In light snow, a leaf blower can effectively remove snow from your driveway. This works well with 3" of snow. Repeat while the snow falls.

Set up a Snow Melter

Regarding snow removal, consider installing an electric or hydronic system beneath the finished surface of your driveway. A heated driveway, like radiant heat flooring beneath tiles in your home, warms the surface from below to melt snowflakes on contact throughout the winter. However, the cost of ripping up and re-paving your driveway is higher, which is why you should consider doing this installation in conjunction with the entire tear-out.
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