Michigan is no stranger to snowfall. Norton Shores alone has an annual average of a whopping 87 inches of snow per year. Any Michigan homeowner knows that snow is an obstacle to contend with every year, and if you have a log home, keeping on top of the snowfall is even more important. The longer snow stays on your porch, walkway, and front steps, the greater the potential for water damage. While you’ve certainly taken precautions against the snow by cleaning and sealing the outside of your home, ice and snow can also present a threat of personal injury, so we’re offering 4 different solutions to make sure that you can get rid of excess snow and keep yourself, and your home, safe.

Sand or Ash

The quickest fix for heavy snowfall—laying down sand, dirt, or ash—won’t remove any snow from your walkways or porch, but it will offer you with more traction on your way in and outside to ensure that you don’t slip or fall. The drawbacks with sand or ash, despite the fact that they don’t actually remove any of the snow, are that neither is an attractive solution, and they make it easy to track in a lot of debris on your shoes. You’ll definitely want to take your shoes off outside or in the garage if you choose this option.

Salt

Another great way to make sure you don’t slip and fall on treacherous ice, salt is a relatively cheap fix. The salt heats up the ice, melting it down and creating a safer walkway for yourself and your family. This will work a bit better than sand or ash in terms of actually getting rid of snow and ice, but again, there are a few drawbacks. Salt can cause damage to walkways, steps, and certainly log homes, so it’s important you don’t overdo it. Try to avoid using salt on your log porch, and make sure to keep it away from your foundation since salt will easily corrode the wood, creating greater problems than just the original ice and snow.

Electrical Ground Heating

The most effective way to avoid snow piling up on your driveway and walkways is to install electrical ground heating. This will melt snow as it falls, ensuring that your pathways are almost always clear. You can either build a new walkway that incorporates electric heating, or you can even get it installed under your existing path. Alternately, if you’re just working within a smaller area, you might consider moveable snow melting mats—which can save you a considerable amount of money.

Shoveling

If none of these options seem to be right for you, there’s always the time-honored, hardy tradition of shoveling. It’s a great workout and a good way to get yourself out of the house if you’ve been snowed in. While it’s not the most comfortable option, it’s 100% effective and unlikely to cause damage to your home. If you’re not looking to spend unnecessary money, you don’t like the appearance of dirt on your walkway, or you’re afraid of the side-effects of salt, put on a jacket, some mittens, a scarf, a hat, and a trusty pair of boots, grab your favorite shovel and have at it. To make sure you’re keeping up on your log home this winter, check out The Log Home Maintenance Guide: a great resource to ensure your home is trouble-free and perfect for when you’re snowed in and curled up next to the fire.