As Chicago’s latest winter storm passes and the reality of removing nearly 2 feet of snow sets in, us kind-hearted, thoughtful folks at Younits.com have a few things we’d like to remark upon.
The light, fluffy snowfall that looks so picturesque as it falls lazily on to your lawn doesn’t it? The unique, individual flakes move swiftly yet carelessly on the wind and in the distance children play and snow people are constructed. Keep in mind though, that all the accumulation, while unassuming and innocuous can get heavy. Really heavy. As the sun rays shine condensing accumulation and the plow trucks heavy loads of snow abundant with salt, slush and ice towards the end of your driveway, shoveling can become a real hassle and a real danger.
Be sure to take your time as you shovel this season (as well as every season for that matter), the snow will still be there tomorrow that’s for sure, so don’t rush! Dangers such as slipping and incorrect lifting can increase when you try to finish the job too quickly.Staying hydrated is another big concern as well. Heavy layers and heavy shoveling mean sweating, so be sure to replenish with water and nutrients.
If you catch it early enough, dispatching the accumulation will be less of a chore and pushing and flinging the snow over the ever-growing piles might not be too hard. This is another story though if you’ve let the snow get too high or when you reach the end of your drive. When this happens you can be sure that each shovel load will be substantially heavier than usual so be sure to lift with your legs and not with your back!
It is exceedingly easy to forget to use proper form in your haste to finish this chore, but injury caused by carelessness will be much more costly than a few extra minutes and a pair of sore leg muscles. So when you gather yourself a large shovelful of the heavy stuff remember to bend at the knee, ensure a firm, even grasp on your shovel and lift with your legs. This takes immense pressure off your back and decreases the risk of a myriad of back injuries (like the ones you hear about on the news every winter). A couple extra minutes will be well worth it!
As the winds gust and the snow drifts rise, be sure to check that any outside venting, be it from your furnace, hot water heater or dryer vents are clear from any snow and/or blockage. If you happen to notice that your clothes aren’t drying properly, your dryer is hot to the touch or even if you notice a burning smell it may indicate a blocked dryer vent either from snow or general dust, lint and debris. If snow or ice clogs your furnace exhaust, your furnace may still cycle on/off or even shut off completely, this is because in a sense, your furnace is choking which can cause gases to become trapped in the furnace or permeate your home. These venting systems, commonly found in the newer and increasingly popular high-efficiency systems are a method of venting the exhaust gases from a heating appliance directly out through the sidewall of a building while eliminating the need for a vertical chimney of any sort. If you are unsure what this looks like here’s an example, they’re referred to as a concentric vent.
So from all of us at Younits.com Stay safe, stay warm and have a terrific winter season!