This time of year it is common for many Tahoe Donner driveways to have a layer of ice or “pack” over some or all surfaces of the driveway. Many homeowners are wondering what measures, if any, that they can take or that Elements can take to eliminate this build up of ice. 

The key to mitigating pack is prevention. The worst cases of ice build up are typically when a car has been parked on the driveway throughout a storm cycle and we have not been able to clear the area properly, or when a snowy area of the driveway is repeatedly driven on without being cleared. Driveways that are constantly shaded or have bad slopes are often worse as well. To prevent build up, the homeowner or tenant should try to move their car when we are running a shift so the operator can clear the driveway thoroughly. The homeowner should also do their best to clear any snow that falls on the driveway when we are not running a shift. Snow falling from trees, fallen walls, berms from the town and storms that do not accumulate enough for us to go out, can all turn into a pesky layer of ice if that small amount of snow is not cleared from the driveway as soon as possible and driven over repeatedly.

Prevention is great, but for many homes it is too late and the proverbial damage has already been done. So what can you do about it and what can we do about it? Unfortunately, our machines are not well equipped to handle this condition. Our blowers simply do not have the weight or down pressure to cut under the ice and peel it up, and any of our heavier equipment would not fit in most driveways and would greatly risk damaging the asphalt. Therefore, eradication of the unwanted ice must be done, unfortunately, by hand. A bag of ice melt or sand and a metal shovel and/or ice scraper from Mountain Hardware are the best tools to see you through. Some homeowners choose to hire a shoveling crew while many homeowners simply chip away at it (quite literally) day by day until they can get rid of it.


Please check out our friends over at the locally, employee-owned gear experts of Mountain Hardware Sports.