Do I have to shovel my sidewalk?
Winter season is synonymous with the holiday season, hot coffee and cozy clothes. The season also brings along with it the added duty of shoveling pounds of snow off sidewalks each year. It can be hard to be outside when it's freezing cold and to shovel snow on top of that can definitely make people question that 'Do I have to shovel my sidewalk?' Even though the majority would like to hear that it isn't necessary, the truth is that it is absolutely necessary.
In most cities in the US, the responsibility to clear sidewalks is laid on the homeowners or businesses themselves. People are required by law to keep their part of the sidewalk cleared and free of snow. This way, everyone does their part and keeps the sidewalks nice and clean. So what if a person decides not to clear their sidewalk. Well, they can get sued, especially if someone gets hurt if a person does not maintain a clean sidewalk. So the question is not one of 'do I have to?' because it really is not a choice.
It seems fair as well. Federal, state, and local governments can only do so much. They are in charge of clearing the snow from roads and public properties, like parks and open spaces, but sidewalks in front of a privately owned property should be maintained by the owners to relieve the burden on the government. Additionally, it brings the community together as everyone works together to keep the snow off their sidewalks to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. Not to mention just how great of an exercise shoveling snow can be especially when you go a little overboard with the food during the holiday season.
Personal safety and that of others is at stake when you decide to delay the shoveling process. Someone might slip or trip as a result of your negligence. It is required by law in most cases, so the earlier you start, the better. The more time passes by, the more difficult it becomes to shovel because the fallen snow hardens over time. Getting an early start is key.
Another thing that can help is salting your sidewalk. Salting is not very tricky, and you can use plain old table salt, no need to buy special supplies. Once your sidewalk is salted and prepped shoveling the snow, later on, becomes easier. You can even get a blower to make the snow melt a little bit and then shovel. You can buy blowers that are reasonably priced, and they can be used for other things as well, like blowing the leaves in fall.
Having good equipment, a nice shovel will usually do the trick. The rest depends on your ability to use it effectively. You can learn the right technique, one that works best for you and go from there.
Now you may be a special circumstance individual, maybe due to old age or disability, and may find it impossible to shovel snow — no need to worry. There are many professional snow removal companies that you can hire to do the job for you. If you can't afford a service, then volunteer programs in many cities ensure that sidewalks for people with special circumstances are taken care of by volunteers in the community.