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How to clear snow

Snow has hit many parts of the UK today. As a result driveways and paths up and down the country are covered in snow and ice. So, should you do the sensible thing and clear them? Or do you risk getting sued if you do? And how do you clear snow?

Post updated: January 28th, 2020

how to clear snow

Should I clear snow from my path/drive/outside my house?

There’s a myth that crops up every time snow hits the UK – that doing the neighbourly thing and clearing the pavement outside your house could land you in hot water if someone passing by was to fall. However, the government has made it clear that people walking on snow and ice have a responsibility to be careful themselves so don’t be put off from taking action – so long as you’re not doing anything to make it worse!

How to clear snow

We’ve rounded up the top tips from local government websites and the department of transport on how to clear snow and keep your driveway clear during this cold spell:

  1. Clear snow early in the day. It will be easier to clear when it is loose rather than packed by people compacting it when they walk. Focus on steps as these can be especially dangerous. You can then put down salt in the evening to stop any remaining snow or slush freezing over night.
  2. Use salt or sand. It may sound obvious but DON’T USE WATER to melt the snow. As temperatures dip, chances are the water will refreeze and turn to black ice. Salt or sand should be used to clear the area. Table salt or dishwasher salt will work well – a tablespoon for each square metre you clear should work. Be careful not to spread salt on plants or grass as it may damage them. But do spread it on steps
  3. Put the snow somewhere sensible. Be careful not to shovel snow near to drains or other paths. Shovel it to the sides of the path you want to create. Meanwhile, if you block other people’s paths in order to clear yours you’re unlikely to win any friends!
  4. Look after yourself. Wrap up warm and wear appropriate footwear. Don’t move too much snow. If your shovel feels too heavy reload a more manageable amount of snow before you lift it. You can get wide lightweight wide bladed shovels from most large supermarkets or hardware stores which may make things easier than a garden shovel.


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