Snow Shovel Safety
Winter weather is blowing across much of the country and — unfortunately — that means out comes the snow shovel, the snow blower and the ice melt. And sweat on the foreheads of many.
(Editor’s Note: you might be fortunate enough not to experience snow at all. If that’s the case, then reading this will at least give you a good feeling that you chose warmer climates, or a feeling of empathy for those who did not.)
You’ve seen the news reports: When some overexert themselves when shoveling the white stuff, they can get hurt or even worse… so it’s smart to plan ahead and be prepared with proper information before engaging in a physical activity you aren’t used to. Snow shoveling puts stress on your back and also on your heart.
Choose your snow shovel carefully, one that is right for you. A curved handle keeps your back straighter when shoveling, and make sure the handle is of proper length for your height. A plastic shovel might not be as durable as a metal one, but it is lighter and easier to use, especially when dealing with a lot of snow.
Just as you would do before working out, stretch your muscles and warm them up. Pace yourself, take breaks.
When you go out to take care of a new snowfall, do more pushing of the snow, as that keeps strain on your back to a minimum.
When dealing with a heavy snowfall, and you can’t push it, shovel in layers, inches at a time. But never throw snow over your shoulder; toss it in front of you or to the side.
And never forget, what is outside comes inside, so snow, mud, ice melt and other hard-to-remove soils will end up on your carpet and other flooring. When this happens, do the right thing: Call your favorite cleaning professional.
It’s a good feeling. You have a beautiful home, you spend time keeping it in perfect shape, and your brand-new carpet is the icing on the cake. It’s soft, comfortable and clean.
Then one day, you notice (gasp) a spot right in the middle of the living room. There’s no way you can live with that eyesore. It has got to go. What do you do?
Here are a few tips to basic spot removal. Don’t forget that a spot can really be a stain, which needs professional attention.
Do your best to visually identify the spot. Some spots are easy; others are pretty tough. It’s not always possible to identify the spotting substance in the carpet. Yet, a little sleuthing on your part can get you close. Where is the spot? Is it near the dining room or where those in the family might eat? Odds are, it’s food related, and you might find success with a spotting solution for sticky residues. Is it in a bedroom? Could be cosmetic, shoe polish or other substance common to getting ready for the day, and you might find success with a dry solvent spotter.
When you have figured out as best you can the type of spot you have, choose a reputable product for that particular spot. Some of the best spotting solutions can be obtained from your carpet cleaning company. Ask them what they recommend.
Next comes removal. Carefully blot the spot. Do not scrub. You will damage the tips of the fibers and there’s nothing short of replacement to fix that. Keep applying and blotting product until the spot is gone.
Remember, if you do your own spot removal, there is some danger of removing original fabric color and causing other damage. Take your time and do it right. Pretesting fiber and solution compatibility is always recommended.
And when in doubt (or when a spot stumps you) always do the very best thing: Call your cleaning professional right away!