DIY Snow Shovel: Headaches You’re Likely to Encounter
If you’re a Northeast Ohio resident, then you know the winter can hit hard. Per U.S. Climate Data, the Cleveland area experiences an average annual snowfall of 68 inches — with the most accumulation between December and March, and some light dusting in November and April.
While there are plenty of DIY snow shovel hacks available to homeowners, the sheer quantity of snow to handle can prove to be a tireless effort. Not to mention, these techniques often prove to be more costly in the long run and introduce stresses and safety hazards.
Let’s take a closer look at some headaches DIY snow removal creates for homeowners.
Acquiring & Maintaining Equipment
Snow removal equipment comes in a variety of options — and costs. While a nice snow shovel could run you from $30 to $70+, a snowblower comes with a much heftier price tag: anywhere between $500 to $2000+.
While this speaks to the initial investment required, it only tells half the story. In the case of snowblowers, you’ll need to factor in the cost of gas as well as the tune-up. (The average price for a tune-up typically runs between $60 and $200, depending on the type of blower.) Meanwhile, you may need to foot the bill for a new shovel if it undergoes too much stress in harsh snowstorms.
There’s also the storage factor to consider. A shovel may be easy to tuck into the garage, but a snowblower is bound to take up more space. With a snowblower, you also have to think about how to properly cover and store the machine so that its mechanical parts aren’t exposed to debris or harsh temperatures.
Potential for Injuries
When you opt for the DIY snow shovel route, you’re not just dealing with the mental strain of an early morning. You’re also exposing your body to physical stress amid the extreme cold.
As MetroHealth reports, DIY snow shovel techniques can be more strenuous than a heart-pumping treadmill exercise. While this might not cause much anxiety for healthy individuals, it does raise some concerns for older folks and people with existing health issues.
Don’t take our word for it, though. Take it from the results of a 17-year study from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Of the 195,000 individuals hospitalized throughout the time span due to snow shoveling accidents, overexertion was a leading cause, with heart stress and heart attacks common in those 55 or over. Meanwhile, slips and falls were a common risk, with a higher likelihood for elderly people and greater odds for serious injuries when falls do occur.