Every year Old Man Winter arrives if we are ready or not. As the accumulation of snow piles on your sidewalk and driveway, a silent threat develops on the surface of the ground. ICE and it is a very real danger. Before weathering the outside to shovel the snow and ice your must prepare yourself.
Preparing Yourself for the Cold
You must always bundle up. There is no telling how long it might take you to clear the ice and snow from your driveway and sidewalk. So you play it safe and layer up from head to two. The last thing you need is to catch a cold. Insulated clothing will do wonders, from top to bottom starting with a hat, scarf, gloves, insulated coat, insulated pants, and rubber winter boots.
What to Use
After your all bundles then its time to get out your deicing solution. Oops, don't have any. Better make a run to the store just to be safe but what should you get? Maybe we can help. Many different chemical applications can be used to deice your sidewalk and driveway. Here are few to consider.
- Sodium Chloride (Rock Salt)
- Most common to use
- Effective in temps above +12℉
- Corrosive on paved surfaces
- Chemical disrupts soil composition
- Calcium Chloride (Liquid or dry)
- Very common to use
- Effective in temps above -25℉
- Inexpensive and can be mixed with rock salt
- Activates quicker and lasts longer than Sodium Chloride
- Urea and Potassium Chloride
- Both common fertilizer ingredients.
- Urea is effective in temps above +15℉
- Less corrosive
- Potassium chloride is effective in temps above +12℉
- Corrosive to metals. Be careful around metal stair and metal sidewalk frames or splitters.
- Magnesium Chloride (Dry or Liquid)
- Increasingly popular choice for roadways
- Effective in temps above -13℉
- Used best for snow and ice removal
- Anti-icing applications in advance to prevent ice and snow from freezing to the surface.
- Calcium Magnesium Acetate
- Alternative to road salt
- Effective in temps above +20℉
- Low toxicity and biodegradable
- About as corrosive as tap water
- Safe for Concrete
- Reduces chloride corrosion
- Requires fewer applications
- Use straight, with salt, with sand, or as a liquid
Some electronic devices on the market will do the trick without spreading deicers solutions, scraping the ice or shoveling snow. From ground mats to chains of coils, the price and quality difference ranges with each device. Whichever you choose, just know that each has its benefits and downfalls.
Tips to help the process:
- Shovel snow to uncover the ice underneath, so the sun thaws it out.
- Use sand on the surface of the ice to gain traction.
- Traction solution also available for on the road.
As Old Man Winter comes and goes, all we can to do is be prepared for the freeze. Take the right precautions and have your deicing solution ready at all times. Keep your driveway and sidewalk cleared and stay warm. Each application of deicer is different, allow yourself time to read and understand the instructions for proper use.