The Importance of Shoveling Sidewalks

The Importance of Shoveling Sidewalks

Winter is here and will be for the next couple of months. This brings some additional chores around the house, specifically, shoveling, salting, and maintaining sidewalks and walkways on your property for the weather conditions.

While shoveling is probably not anyone’s favorite activity, it is important to be diligent in keeping your sidewalks clear from snow and ice. First and foremost, sidewalks that are covered in snow and ice pose a serious safety hazard to those who need to use them. Fluctuating temperatures can cause snow to melt and freeze again quickly, causing slick patches that may not be visible to passersby. Snow can also easily create the risk for twisting an ankle or knee while walking over it. Debris that may have been on or near the sidewalk before the snow fell may be covered by the snow and create a tripping hazard. These conditions pose a special concern for children who may need to use your sidewalk to walk to and from school, as well as members of the postal service and other delivery drivers who need to access your walkways in order to do their job.

Clearing snow soon after the snowfall settles is ideal for achieving the easiest and most complete maintenance of your sidewalks. Snow is lighter when it is fresh and before it has been packed down by people walking over it or by melts and freezes. It is easier to make sure you get all of the snow off of the sidewalk when it is shoveled or cleared quickly, making the walkway safer and less prone to patches of black ice or other slippery spots. Putting salt down after shoveling helps clear remaining dampness and further prevent slick sidewalks.

Additionally, many areas have snow ordinances that require snow and ice to be cleared within a certain period of time, and you could be subject to a fine or citation if you fail to comply with those requirements. You could also be held liable if someone is injured as a result of your failure to do appropriate snow maintenance on your property. Neighborhoods also often have an unspoken rule for clearing snow in a timely fashion and maintaining sidewalks and walkways, and houses that repeatedly fail to keep up with snow maintenance can start to be viewed as a nuisance or inconsiderate neighbor.

Whether you love or hate the snow, living in a cold weather climate this time of year brings a responsibility to safely maintain your sidewalks and walkways, so get out there and clear that snow to help keep everyone safe. 


While shoveling is probably not anyone’s favorite activity, it is important to be diligent in keeping your sidewalks clear from snow and ice.