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Got ice? DIY temp railing!

Those of us who choose to live in the mountains either love snow, or have accepted it as part of the price one pays for mountain living. Me? I love it, but I do my best to prepare for snow and icy weather. We all winterize the vehicles, drain hoses and stack the firewood close by, but do you winterize your walkways?

Nothing is worse than a warming day that starts the melting process, then flash freezes everything as soon as the sun drops below the horizon.

My home is perched on top of a rise and most of the property slopes away from the house as shown in the picture. My garage/shop is located to the right of the driveway at the base of that slope. I’ve had some interesting trips to the garage over the past few years and more than once arrived at the door on my butt after sliding down the driveway.

Anticipating the upcoming winter’s challenges, late this past Fall I took some preemptive measures and added a temporary “DIY railing” to the front lawn. I used standard 48″ fencing “T” posts, which are hammered into the ground and don’t require a concrete footer. I knew that as soon as the weather arrived, the ground would freeze and serve as the perfect anchor for my posts. Initially I was just going to string rope between the poles to offer something to hold on to while I slide down the driveway.

A flash of inspiration prompted me to feed the rope through inexpensive PVC pipe, thus offering a more stable handhold than loose rope. If you are not familiar with it, the PVC sections only cost about $2 each. The T-posts are also less than $3 and my entire project probably didn’t cost $20.
Now that we’re mid way through the winter, I can honestly say that this “high-tech, anti-slip, keep me vertical – homemade ice railing” has worked marvelously. I’ve yet to reach the garage on my backside and the railing has kept me from slipping many times. If you have a similar property layout, consider such a solution next Fall. Its cheap, fast and may just save a doctor’s bill.

Until next time…

1 comment to Got ice? DIY temp railing!

  • Jarkko

    I have always used an old-school method of laying some firewood on the walkway to form a winterized walkway.

    What you do is that you take a sizeable log of firewood and lay it down horizontally towards the walking direction. Repeat this on every step. Logs will freeze to the ground and after snow falls, they form a natural line of steps.

    On positive side there are the possibility of using both arms and free availability of material. On negative side, you must maintain the steps by sweeping them after snowing.

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