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Help! Insight for eliminating snow from long drveway from big snows! SeePix!

Help! Insight for eliminating snow from long drveway from big snows! SeePix!

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  #1  
Old 02-22-21, 08:34 AM
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Help! Insight for eliminating snow from long drveway from big snows! SeePix!

Help please! Your creative and experience insight for eliminating the snow from on my NJ suburban driveway from just the big snowfalls. Sorry this is so long...

Background. I have a multifamily house with a long driveway (90 feet) which includes a wider area at the bottom for parking. I get my driveway plowed with the snow pushed and piled all the way to the bottom. As we go through the winter, each successive snowplow adds to the former piles and each time I lose more and more parking space at the end. And I can generally manage that except for a when there is a huge snowstorm, like the 2' deep snowstorm we just had, this extra plowed snow alone adds 20' of lost driveway! That's 150 cubic yards of new plowed driveway snow from this one snowfall!

I cannot snowblow snow to a neighbors yard. I do have two small yards and I blow snow into them as much as I can, but these small yards only allow me to offload 25% of the big snows.

I need a way in which to eliminate the snow from the big snows, maybe once or twice a year.

Hauling? I am trying to find a snow removal service, not having much luck there so far to find a company that will do that. Where they come with a scooper and truck or dumpster and and haul it away. That sounds really expensive.

Melting? (1) In the past I tried using hot water from a hose on that snow. That was distressingly ineffective even on a small scale. (2) Not an option to rebuild the bottom 15' - 20' of this driveway with embedded heating elements that are electrically heated. I am now looking into these portable propane fueled forced air heaters that put out 50-125,000 BTUs and wondering if I could manually use them to melt the snow effectively. Anyone successfully use that to melt a huge amount of snow? That brings up a water management issue in that the melted snow water would drain into and flood my apt complex neighbors lawn. I would also have to build a well placed drain and a deep drywell to manage all this melted water.


Propane forced air heaters


Thx for reading all this. Any other ideas, any insights?

Dave


Bottom of driveway

 
  #2  
Old 02-22-21, 09:37 AM
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How many cars need to park there?
 
  #3  
Old 02-22-21, 09:38 AM
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Hauling is an option. As you already guessed, it will be expensive. A big part of the expense is simply transporting a machine to your property that can pick up the snow and put it in a dump truck. Then transport the machine away when done. I could see it taking a couple people and being a couple hundred dollars even before they start working.

Melting is an option but I don't think a portable kerosene heater is an option. Far too much of the heat will be wasted to the air. I would just use cold water from the tap, not hot. The big question is where will all the water go? You don't want to flood your neighbors or create an icy mess. Hot water will work but it will be expensive so I'd just use cold water. You have a lot of snow to melt. Don't expect to stand there with the hose and melt it all away in an hour. This is going to be a big project that will take some time.
 
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Old 02-22-21, 10:26 AM
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Going forward, pay someone with a lifted pickup truck with plow to plow snow *out* of your driveway, instead of into bottom of driveway?
 
  #5  
Old 02-22-21, 11:44 AM
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Thx Pilot Dane. Yep, big project. Thanks for your thoughts on the hauling, and 2 melting options.

Cartman. Plowing driveway snow into the street is illegal in this area, even at quantities of less than 100 cubic yards of snow.

Best,
Dave
 
  #6  
Old 02-22-21, 01:35 PM
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Melting is not an option, the amount of BTU's/watts required to melt snow would exceed anything you have access to.

 
  #7  
Old 02-22-21, 04:48 PM
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A little common sense and sacrifice in situations as this will be the easiest and lest expensive. You need to get together with all tenants and work out a parking plan and alert. The sacrifice is that each person needs to be willing to move his or her car when another needs to get out or in.
There is no magic solution.
 
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Old 02-22-21, 05:19 PM
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Norm spelled out what I was getting at with my question, but thanks for ignoring it.
 
  #9  
Old 02-22-21, 06:27 PM
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When you have a huge snow storm, with a confined driveway,
1) you need to start stacking the snow- That usually means after the plowing, you need a backhoe bucket, or a a bobcat bucket to start stacking the snow.

2) You're not going to melt the snow away with a heater. The energy requirements to melt snow are formidable. The only places I know of that use heat to melt snow are airports, and THEY only do that for the landing runways, NOT for general snow removal.

3) As for "passively" melting snow. This works in the "long term". I've got a fireplace, burn wood, and I've found that sprinkling dark-grey to black wood ash on a snow bank (that gets full sun) will melt it much faster than if the snow stays pristine white.

Summary- for a small enclosed parking area, there is no good way to melt snow, only paying somebody to move it, and pile it high. You can accelerate melting by tossing dark wood ash on so it melts faster, but you'll still have mounds of snow.
 
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Old 02-22-21, 07:02 PM
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accelerate melting by tossing dark wood ash on so it melts faster, but you'll still have mounds of snow.
Just an observation...I found that in mid to late spring snow mounds with road dirt on then tend to last longer due to an insulating factor. Maybe wood ash is different.
 
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Old Yesterday, 05:38 AM
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Is there any room on either/both sides of the driveway from the street to the dwelling to put the snow by plowing from the back toward the street versus the street to the back?
 
  #12  
Old Yesterday, 08:09 AM
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Hi Cartman,

On this property there is no place to plow the snow onto another place on my property. I have them plow to the bottom as that is the easiest for them and they can stack the snow high.

Best,
Dave
 
  #13  
Old Yesterday, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Hal_S
accelerate melting by tossing dark wood ash on so it melts faster, but you'll still have mounds of snow.
Originally Posted by Norm201
Just an observation...I found that in mid to late spring snow mounds with road dirt on then tend to last longer due to an insulating factor. Maybe wood ash is different.
Good observation. One of the paradoxical effects of melting DEEP snow is that dark material causes snow to melt into ice-pillars, and ice-crust, and because ice is MUCH better at conducting heat than snow- you end up with a longer lasting mound- oddly, the same thing happens with comets- they develop a "rind" of dark material which shields the interior.
BUT, with a shallow snow pack of a few inches, the dark grey-black ash absorbs enough heat that it simply melts the snow.
 
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Old Yesterday, 06:01 PM
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Pilot Dane,

I will hold back on my thoughts about the kerosene metling as I will do some more exploring first and then get back to you. Thanks for the above!

Dave
 
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Old Yesterday, 06:05 PM
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Norm and Hal_S,

What a unique and creative idea! Not a cure-all but could well be part of the solution that would certainly kick in on sunny days.

Best,
Dave
 
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Old Yesterday, 06:19 PM
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I'm on the same line as Hal. Looking at your picture it appears to me that the snow piles are not plies very well. Guessing that the fence is about 6' tall it appears that the snow is only piled about 3'. I suspect a bobcat type machine could pile the snow up about twice as high or more. Just don't pile the snow on top of the fence or it could damage it.

Post an ad on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace to hire somebody with a machine. I bet you could get somebody to do it for about $200.
 
  #17  
Old Yesterday, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dvarga
What a unique and creative idea! Not a cure-all but could well be part of the solution that would certainly kick in on sunny days.
Meh, not 'creative' at all. For hundreds of years, residents would put down wood ash or coal cinders on the sidewalk for traction and to help melt the ice. Cities in the northeast US would "cinder the roads," and in many communities near coal fired power plants, they still do.

Township Of Whitemarsh: Winter Storm Coming To Whitemarsh
Posted Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 2:40 pm ET

As soon as snow or freezing rain begins, the Highway Department starts salting and applying cinders on township roads.
 
  #18  
Old Yesterday, 10:05 PM
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Just dont forget all that ash you put down, once it melts now you have a black slurry mess to deal with!
 
  #19  
Old Today, 07:14 AM
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Hi All,

Shadieladie: I have up to 3 cars that I can have park on the front lawn. I have a total of 5 cars to deal with. Also there is no parking on the street as it is a county road. And the driveway is sloped.

Marq1: Thanks for the warning about the ash mess. And people tracking that into the house, that would be something else for me to manage.\

beelzebob: Placing snow on the sides of the driveway is not an option. On one side is literally the adjacent driveway from my neighbor, on the other side is the side of my house.

Tolyn Ironhand: The picture I used in my original post was from a few years ago. This recent 2' snow was even worse and I had the entire parking lot in the back piled with 4' high of plowed snow. I think that was as high as the plow guy could pile it, and I do need to confirm if he could stack it higher. I should have taken a picture of the back lot 3 weeks ago. I like the idea of exploring hiring a bobcat to come in after the plow to pile it higher. I need to watch out for the back fence and might well be smart to reinforce it.

I've been managing the snow situation for 15 years. And for the last number of years my neighbor has allowed me to blow the snow over the fence into her yard so I do not lose the use of my parking lot from the winter snow. But like with this last big storm with about 150 cubic yards of plowed snow, the snow blowing over the fence into her yard was too much and she asked me not to do it again. Note that when the snow is blown, all the impact to the snow in the process compacts the snow to maybe a fourth of its original volume, but still there must have been a 35 cubic yard pile of snow on her lawn from me. Can't blame her for this.

With the loss of using my neighbors yard and this past huge snow, and knowing this could happen in the future, this is why I have been soliciting new ideas.

Thank you for all of your input!
 
  #20  
Old Today, 07:24 AM
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she asked me not to do it again
Probably a good time to pass along some cash, probably the easiest solution!
 
 

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