We had a decent little snow fall overnight Wednesday. This was going on top of basically clear streets, sidewalks and stairs. We woke up to around 8-10 cm and it was supposed to drop another 5 cm or so throughout the day. It stayed quite warm though, making it a slightly wet and heavy snow, perfect for snowballs and making snowmen and other snow sculptures. It's very easy to clear this kind of snow from smooth surfaces, like car rooves. It clumps together and slides, so you can knock huge sections off with sliding motions. It can't stick to the sides either. In general there was very little work for drivers.
On stairs with rough carpets, it's a little tougher, but really not too bad. It's just heavier to move. I gave myself plenty of time in the morning to clear the stairs properly. The real danger with this kind of wet snow is that it melts down into the fibres of the stair carpet. When the temperature drops overnight, the melted snow freezes right down to the bottom of the carpet and clings, making it almost impossible to get off without using salt or the Sun God's own powerful rays.
We had a dinner date that night and I went directly there from work. By the time we got back home, the air was already much colder and the slush on the sidewalk had hardened into ice. Seeing all my lame neighbours stairs now covered in solidified and tenacious ice, in slippery, uneven clumps, I was quite worried about our own stairs. I knew it had snowed a bit during the day and I was worried that that was enough to leave a thin layer of icey death on our stairs, reducing my status significantly in the neighbourhood.
I was relieved to see that our stairs were even cleaner than when I had left them. I guess the wind and the warmth had overcome the falling snow and everything had melted or blown away, leaving just the lightest dusting on the carpet. There was one chunk of ice at the top of the stairs where the balcony above had deposited its own melting snow. The video below will show you the difficulty in getting this off.
Imagine if that was the entire stairs, like many of my neighbours! I like to mock them, but it could have easily been me, had I just said to myself, oh I'll do the stairs when I get home from work. The lesson is, always clear the snow sooner rather than later, even if there is more snow to come. Get on it, son!
Below you can see how clean my stairs are, other than the blemishes from the balcony above.