Clearing a snowed-in driveway is a difficult task, especially when it’s composed of gravel. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can remove snow from your driveway without damaging expensive equipment or ruining your driveway. Depending on the size of your driveway and the depth of the snow you may want to use one or a combination of these methods.
Using a snowblower, if you have one at your disposal, is a quick and easy way of removing snow from your drive. You’ll need to make sure your snowblower is a two-stage so you can adjust the auger.
An adjustable auger on your snowblower is essential — if it isn’t raised enough, you’ll inevitably suck up chunks of gravel with the snow, causing damage to your machine. The gravel can also fly out of the snowblower at high speeds, potentially hurting yourself and others.
Leafblowers are a much more common piece of equipment and are less risky to use than a snowblower. As a leafblower does not suck up and spit out snow, you won’t get any gravel stuck in the machinery.
However, a leaf blower is only suitable for light snowfall and will fail to remove densely packed snow from your gravel driveway. A leaf blower is best used to clear a light top sheet of snow. You’ll need to use another instrument to dislodge the densely packed layers.
An excellent old-fashioned way of getting rid of snow from your gravel driveway is with a shovel. Shovels are particularly useful when snow becomes slurry and can’t be blown away with a leafblower or snowblower. Most households have a shovel lying around, so you won’t have to splurge on a fancy new piece of equipment. Shovels are also very sturdy and are unlikely to break while shifting snow.
Just make sure you don’t try to remove all the snow with a shovel; otherwise, you risk digging up clumps of gravel and creating potholes in your drive.
A surprisingly useful device for cleaning snow from a gravel driveway is with a rake if you’re short on options and have minimal tools at your disposal.
A rake’s design is ideal for breaking up tightly packed snow and can be used in conjunction with other instruments, like a leafblower. Just remember, a rake is not designed to be used on snow and will likely dislodge large amounts of gravel, so it’s best used with caution.
While most of the tools mentioned are great for shorter driveways, homeowners with long, winding drives may find these methods difficult and tedious. A snowplow is a popular way of clearing snow in a hurry, but it can be challenging to use on a gravel path.
If possible, use a V-shaped plow to push the snow away from your drive, and make sure you position the blade high enough off the ground. Otherwise, you risk damaging the plow and your vehicle.
During heavy snowfall, it’s best to lower the plow little by little to ensure you don’t dig up large chunks of gravel by accident. Overall, this method is fraught with potential dangers and is best left to professionals.
Salt is superb for clearing a dusting of snow without dislodging gravel from your drive. The salt will melt away any snow and stop the driveway from icing over, for the time being, making it easier to park. If you’ve experienced heavy snowfall, you’re best off using a shovel or snowblower first before using salt to melt the remaining thin layer of snow.
Snow Melting Mats
One ingenious way of ensuring your gravel driveway remains snow-free during the winter is by using snow melting mats. By purchasing industrial-grade melting mats, you can warm up your gravel drive and stop snow from ever settling. These mats melt snow at a rate of roughly two inches per hour, so they are suitable for use in most winter blizzards. Snow melting mats mean you won’t have to exert yourself using heavy machinery or a shovel, making it ideal if you’re elderly or have a disability.