Protecting our family and friends from slips and falls in the winter can be a daunting task, especially in this area of the country. Clearing the ice from the sidewalk becomes more important with elderly family members, children, or pets walking on it often. There are many ice-melting products that you can find in the market these days, but these products often contain chemicals which can be harmful to the environment - and especially your pets. Here are a couple ideas:
Table salt, kosher salt, and sea salt
Chemically, using household salt in place of rock salt will be safer for the environment and for your pets, but large quantities can still be harmful to pets as well as your soil. The Sodium Chloride in salt keeps water in its liquid form, preventing it from forming into a solid ice, so it works well as an ice-preventer, but large quantities of sodium chloride can contaminate your ground soil and become irritable on your pet's paws.
Sugar Beet Juice
You might be thinking, “Beet juice?... Seriously?” The secret to beet juice is that it lowers the freezing temperature of liquids. You can use beet juice before the snow and ice arrive, or it can be used after a snowstorm because it gradually melts ice into liquid. What’s really great is that it is completely harmless to humans, animals, plants, cars, fabrics, and water systems. You can also dilute salt solutions with beet juice, making the salt more effective in lower quantities.
Alfalfa Meal is 100% natural and is typically used for fertilizer. The rough and grainy texture of Alfalfa Meal helps to provide traction from slipping and falling on the ice and the nitrogen helps to melt ice. Other forms of fertilizer can be used, but usually contain higher concentrations of nitrogen that can be harmful to nearby plants or contaminate nearby water sources.
Gravel, Sand or Kitty Litter
Using these substitutes won’t melt the ice, but they will give extra traction to your sidewalk. Best of all, they won’t cause any harm to your yard or your pets.
Shovel Early, Shovel Often
To prevent ice and snow buildup, shovel early after (or during) a snowstorm to prevent the ice and snow from packing and solidifying. After a few people have walked on freshly fallen snow, it becomes much more difficult to remove.
Whichever of these techniques you chose, be ready with a shovel to clear the melted ice and snow to prevent it from freezing again. If you’d like to quickly clear your driveway of snow, contact us - we’ll do it for you all winter long. Do you have any natural ice removing techniques? Share them with us!
Posted on Tue, February 2, 2016
by Think Team filed under