What Are the Dangers of Not Shoveling Your Driveway?

Shoveling your driveway protects your car and your health.
Shoveling your driveway protects your car and your health. (Image: Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images)

As you pull on a sweatshirt, coat, hat, boots and gloves, you realize shoveling your driveway is a chore before you even step outside. If you are considering letting the snow pile up this year, give that impulse a second thought. Not shoveling your driveway can hold dangers for your car, your home and your family.

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Not Shoveling

If you don’t shovel your driveway after the first dusting of snow of the year, you probably won't experience any problems parking your car or walking up to your home. If you don’t shovel after later snowfalls, the snow will begin to build up in your driveway, piling higher and higher. You will save yourself the time and effort involved in clearing away snow, but as the snow builds, you will have to deal with not only it acting as an obstructive hazard, but also the risk that ice is forming beneath it.

Vehicle Dangers

When you don’t shovel your driveway, you park in deepening snow each night, exposing the underside of your car to moisture for extended periods, which can lead to rusting. In addition, the underside of your car and the snow in your driveway will be contaminated with the deicing agents spread on the roads to make driving possible. These agents, including salt, are corrosive and will hasten the damage to the underside of your car.

Other Dangers

Not shoveling can damage your driveway. When snow melts, the melt water trickles into the cracks and crevices of your driveway. If the water freezes again in the cold, the ice expands in the cracks, widening them and causing damage. The snow in your driveway is difficult to walk through, and you could trip and fall on items hidden beneath the snow. The melting and refreezing snow could coat your driveway in ice, making it one large slip hazard.

Considerations

If your driveway is for your business or a rental property, you could be legally obligated to shovel it and have it clear within a certain amount of time after a snowfall. Check your areas' regulations to see what your obligations are. If you dislike shoveling or if it is too large a task for you, hire someone to perform the service. If your area consistently receives a lot of snow, invest in a snow blower to handle the work.

References

  • “Home Improvement All-in-One For Dummies”; Roy Barnhart, James Carey, Morris Carey, Gene Hamilton, Katie Hamilton, Donald R. Prestly, Jeff Strong; 2011
  • “The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business”; Barbara Weltman; 2007
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