Snow Removal Tips for Off-Grid Living


Plowing Away

Some people living off-grid never see any snow. Others, like us, get a fair amount. We live about 3 miles from the nearest paved road and that means we have to take care of our own snow removal, not only on our immediate property but also the 3 miles to pavement. From that point on the local county or state handles the snow removal quite well.

We did a lot of research on a lot of new things before we went off grid. We mostly got it right but we did have a few regrets. One of those is not keeping a clear distance all the way around the house for snow removal equipment. I have solar panels, cisterns, and satellite dishes on one end of the house that are too close to the house to get my tractor and plow in for snow removal so it all has to be done by hand. I have a metal roof on my house so usually on the first sunny day after a snowfall we are going to have the snow come off the roof and pile up just below the eave.

I could leave it there but if you do, it will melt in the sun and then freeze at night and eventually become solid ice. At that point it is a lot of hard work to get it out. I believe it is best to keep the immediate area around the house clear of snow.  I have gutters on my roof, footing drains below grade, and the ground is all sloped away from the house but even with that you can acquire water problems if you allow the snow to build up under the eaves.

In a fast thaw that built up pile of snow will melt and you can accumulate water between it and the house and if the ground is frozen that water has no place to go. It can eventually pond up against your siding or enter the crawl space or even become higher than your concrete slab (floor) if you have one. All in all it is just a good idea to keep the snow from accumulating at the house.


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