Because of the high functionality of snowblowers, there’s a propensity to think that any type can handle wet, heavy snow. They’re amazing machines that make snow removal easier and a little fun. But it’s not so fun when we overestimate its abilities. So, can you use a snowblower on wet snow? You can, but you have to have the right one.
What Is the Right Kind of Snowblower for Wet Snow?
Determining which kind of snowblower will be right to use on wet snow will comprise various factors. The area from where you want to remove snow and knowing the different types suited for the job will be imperative.
Types of Snowblowers
- Single Stage: Single stage blowers are the most basic. The auger picks up snow and throws it out of the chute. But it doesn’t break chunks of ice and isn’t ideal for large areas of wet snow. Plus, the auger touches the ground, making it unsuitable for lawns and gravel. Because most models don’t self-propel, it’s difficult to push uphill and through dense snow.
- Two Stage: Two stage blowers have power-assisted wheels, two elevated augers, an impeller and it’s self-propelling. You don’t have to push the machine hard and its design makes it easy to get up slopes. What’s more it can handle large areas of wet snow like a dream.
- Three Stage: Three stage blowers have three augers and an accelerator. The third auger sits perpendicular to the other two. The accelerator can self-propel the machine up to 10 times faster than the two collection augers. These are great for removing snow on large pieces of property, commercial driveways, and yards with vast amounts of acreage.
Deciding which Is Best for You
Now that you have a basic understanding of each type of snowblower, you can determine which one will be right for your needs. Single stage machines can handle wet snow that has a small area to remove or driveways made of asphalt or concrete. These are also good for areas that don’t receive a lot of snowfall in winter.
Two stage blowers are more ideal for residential snow removal. It can handle a wide variety of situations while being able to handle chopping ice and thick chunks of snow. These work perfectly for medium to large driveways, gravel-covered driveways, lawns and hills. This is best for heavy, wet snow.
If you have weighty, sopping snowfall where it reaches in excess of 12 to 24 inches, then a three stage snowblower will be better. It’s also ideal if you have large commercial parking lots to clear.
How Do You Use a Snowblower on Wet Snow?
Regardless of the type of machine you choose to go with, there are some tips and techniques you should keep in mind.
Don’t rush your way through the wet snow. This will not get the results you’re looking for. It’s best to take your time to ensure you don’t clog up the chute.
Because of the weight of the snow, going fast can also destroy the mechanisms and augers of the machine. Move in increments to reduce clogging and pause every so often to clear the snow out from the chute.
Plus, your heath should be another consideration. Cold, freezing temperatures forces your body to go into high gear to stay warm. If you exert yourself too much, you could cause yourself heart, lung, blood pressure and diabetes issue.
Coat the Chute
Because wet snow can cause a sticky situation for your snowblower, it will clog. While it is an excellent idea to clear the snow every so often as you go around the property, you want to ensure safety and efficiency.
Many people incur hand injuries trying to remove the snow as they use the blower on their property. So, to save yourself a lot of time, pain, ace bandage wraps and ibuprofen, coat the chute with a non-stick substance. Consider the following:
- Teflon-Based Sprays
- Silicone Spray
- Ski Wax (more time consuming to apply, but lasts much longer than the others)
Toss Snow Far
You want to ensure the snow goes as far away from you as possible while ensuring you don’t have to re-blow the area. Dealing with wet snow twice isn’t just annoying, it’s also counterproductive. There are a number of ways you can ensure snow gets thrown as far as possible.
- First, ensure you’re taking in less amounts of snow at once. Not only will this prevent clogging the machine but it will also increase the throwing distance.
- Another method is to go slow at full throttle. When you run your snowblower at a lower speed, it takes in less snow and therefore doesn’t throw it very far.
- Lastly, you can raise the chute as high as it will go. The higher the level of the chute, the farther the snow will go away from you, the area and the machine. With wet snow, it can be difficult to throw it far enough on the lowest chute height.
Clear Snow Right Away
When you notice you have heavy, wet snow, remove it as soon as you can. You want to tackle this problem and nip it in the bud before it can freeze over. It’s much more difficult to use a snowblower, even if it is a three stage, once the layers and accumulation become one big block of ice.
It’s not advisable to wait for the snow to melt. The only time it might be a good idea is if you know for certain it will be sunny with warmer temperatures. This is because it takes wet, sopping snow longer to melt than powdery types of snow.
Either wait until the crack of dawn to remove it or make sure you get to it before snow cover can reach a depth of six inches. No matter how high the quality of your blower, it will lose efficiency the heavier and more deep the snow is.