As I write this, it is snowing outside my home in eastern Pennsylvania. Again. It has been snowing on and off for so long it’s almost comical—except that we passed the “where do we even put this stuff?” stage many days ago and it still keeps on falling. What I know this snowfall means, though, is that pretty soon my husband will pull on his coat and boots and head outside to sweep it up. Because a broom—if you have the right one—can be even better than a shovel when you’ve got a couple inches of the powdery stuff.
Sweeping instead of shoveling, under the right conditions, can be more efficient and much easier on your back. To start, you need a broom with hard bristles, such as a push broom or a corn broom, like this one. A soft-bristled broom, like the one you probably use to sweep up your kitchen, might work in a pinch, but they’re not as effective on textured surfaces like sidewalks and driveways.
Sweeping up snow works better with the dry, powdery stuff than the heavy, wet stuff. It works best if you get to it before it reaches more than two or three inches, because after that point, it’s getting too heavy to efficiently sweep away. And it’s best to sweep it up before you walk through it, as once you walk through it you’ve started packing it down. We have a corn broom that works especially well on our front porch, steps, and the walkway up to our house, which can all be swept up in mere minutes.
Push brooms are also good tools for dislodging massive amounts of snow from the top of your vehicle, too—just be careful to push only at the snow, lest those hard bristles do their job too well and scratch up the paint.
When you’re all done, don’t forget to store your broom with the bristle end up, to avoid any unwanted bending that shortens the life of your new favorite snow-removal tool.