Having to remove snow is bad enough, but removing snow from a gravel driveway can be a great deal harder. You need the ground clear, but you don’t want to end up shovelling off all the gravel too. By doing it carefully you can leave the gravel in place and still manage to clear off the snow so the driveway is safe for walking. Here are some techniques to try.
Step 1 - Leaf Blower
The best way to begin clearing snow off the gravel driveway is with a leaf blower. By operating it over the snow you’ll be able to remove the soft top layer of snow. If there’s been a heavy snowfall this can significantly reduce the amount of labor you’ll need later.
Use the leaf blower to remove as much of the snow as possible, blowing it off the sides of the driveway. Make sure that you do blow it beyond the driveway or you’ll simply be creating more work for yourself later. Where the snow has been light and dry you should be able to remove most of the snow this way.
Step 2 - Shovel
A leaf blower won’t be very effective with wet snow, so you’ll need to use a shovel. Don’t use a snow shovel on a gravel driveway. As you’re pushing the snow off you’ll also end up pushing off the gravel. Instead, you should use a regular shovel and don’t try to dig all the way down to the driveway.
Take the snow off in layers. This is easier than trying to move large blocks of it at a time. It can take a little longer, but there’s less physical exertion and you’ll find that the process goes very quickly. Work your way along the driveway and dump the snow beyond each side of the driveway. As you move along you’ll be pushing down the lowest level of snow with your feet and compacting it. If you remove the snow to a level of about one inch above the gravel driveway with the shovel you’ll be ready for the third stage.
Step 3 - Rake
Use a sturdy garden rake to remove the rest of the snow. It should have a heavy head and tines about one inch apart. This can break up the compacted snow and help move it without disturbing too much off the gravel. Be aware that it's impossible to ensure all the gravel remains on the driveway.
Rake the snow from the middle of the gravel driveway to the sides. The rake will break up the snow, so you’ll be moving small chunks of snow. Clear as much of the snow as possible, going all the way down to the hard surface wherever possible.
Step 4 - Salt
Once you’ve cleared off as much of the snow as possible, spread salt on the gravel driveway. This will melt the remainder of the snow and also prevent ice from forming on the gravel driveway so it will be perfectly safe for walking.