Author Topic: Ice Hey, old Bean?  (Read 734 times)


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Ice Hey, old Bean?
« on: Dec 31, 2009, 10:48:01 AM »
With this unexpected cold spell, it occurred to me that there is several things we could do to help ourselves.  Firstly, if you have sports shoes with spikes/ studs on then these can be put to use, crossing slippery ice (golf or running shoes/ football or rugby boots etc). There used to be a company that produced it's own form of crampons to go on shoes, like mountain climbers use but smaller studs, unfortunately I haven't seen their ads in the papers this year or they'd be making a fortune!  Next, polaroids can be used to cut down glare from low sun, reflecting off ice and snow, blinding us as drivers and pedestrians.

With regards to the conditions themselves - when the compacted snow/ frozen ice starts to defrost, it is easier to clear as the connection to the ground is lessened, meaning you can shove a shovel between the ground and it, to easy lever it away from the surface and move it out the way (Frozen to the ground, you can only hope to shift it in bits and only leave chunks still adhering to the pavement etc.

Snow, like mud or sand is tiring to walk on as it absorbs the full impact of the foot going down and also you have to pull it out of the ground etc. after.  Compacted snow is glassy in appearance and easier to walk on along as it crunches underfoot because that means you've got something for your foot to grip.  When it has rained or you've got melt water on the surface (or a puddle underneath, when it comes to snow), then it becomes lethal as water acts as a lubricant:  Algae on rock has the same effect, whether in fresh water or the sea - a rough surface is safer and easier to walk on than a smooth one, especially if dry.

With regards to vehicles, we can use a hairdryer, plugged into an extension cable, run from the house or garage, to clear windows.  This method can also be used to defrost frozen locks (concentrate on the door frame as it is usually the door welded to the frame by frost that is the problem, not the lock itself, except possibly where it goes into the frame itself):  A kettle of warm water can be used instead but it is not recommended for glass, especially the windscreen.  While not considered legally kosher, people do turn on their car engines and leave their vehicles unattended.  While I'm not advocating this to clear windscreens and free doors as you can see, insurance wise, if you do this you'd be advised to use a spare key to lock the vehicle, ensuring the likelihood of it getting stolen is severely reduced.