Winter has arrived, and for many of us in and around the Ann Arbor Michigan area, that means the season of snow plowing has begun. While a community blanketed in a fresh snowfall can be a beautiful sight, the task of removing snow and ice from driveways and lawns is a tedious yet challenging task that is dreaded by many. Before you take out your snow plow, read the article below for tips on preventing damage to your lawn and walkways this winter. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to enjoy the snow and keep a tidy yard and driveway that is free of ice hazards.

Snowplow At Work

1. Skid Pads
Before you begin snow plowing, make sure that the skid pads are placed properly beneath its blades. Missing skid pads or skid pads that are set too high allow the corners of the snow plow to dig shallow gashes into the concrete and to hook corners that are raised. These scratches are considered typical wear and tear by some homeowners, but are undesirable to people who have recently laid new patterned or stained driveways.

Alternative: Try back-dragging the snow out into the road instead of pushing it forward. Also, make sure skid pads are adjusted in a way that will not allow the blade to gouge the concrete. Lastly, avoid pushing the plow at an angle across the drive, as this reduces the chances of the blade slashing into the surface of the driveway.

2. Rubber or Polyurethane Cutting Edge
Follow the example of many snow removal companies and apply either a rubber or polyurethane cutting edge to the blades of your snow plow. These softer edges will minimize the impact against your driveway, thereby lessening the chance of causing damage.

Alternative: If you can’t afford this option or simply don’t wish to, it may be a wise choice to hire a professional snow removal company in Ann Arbor Michigan to come out and remove the piles of snow and ice for you. These commercial plows are equipped to handle large amounts of snow while causing as little damage as possible.

3. Avoid the Over-use of Deicing (Ice-melting) Products
The development of these ice-melting products (such as those containing sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and urea) over the last several years has been helpful in eliminating slippery surfaces and the need to use a snow plow. The unfortunate effect of these products, however, is that many of them also cause damage to many outdoor plants, indoor flooring, and can be dangerous to pets. Rock salt, for example, can leach into the soil and drastically alter its chemical balance to toxic levels. Urea isn’t as likely to harm vegetation, though it does still produce the risk of burning up the lawn, shrubbery, and other plants.

Alternative: If you insist on using a deicing product as an alternative to snow plowing, opt for one containing calcium magnesium acetate. Though it costs approximately ten times the amount of rock salt, this salt-free and biodegradable product poses no threat to the environment, nor is it as corrosive to concrete as salt.

4. Put Away the Ice Pick
Many people mistakenly believe that an ice pick is a viable alternative to using a snow plow. Wrong! Never use an ice pick on driveways or other concrete surfaces. Doing so can cause severe harm to these surfaces and should be avoided at all costs.

Alternative: Invest in an ice blower. In northern cities such as Ann Arbor Michigan, purchasing even a cheap ice blower is a wise choice. It may also prove to be safer for the user, since it requires less work than shoveling. Protect your driveway from damage and reduce your chances of acquiring a back injury or having a heart attack by investing in this winter purchase. We promise you it will be worth every penny.

Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.