5 Things That De-Ice Your Driveway
This has been a very long harsh winter down here in the Niagara area. Here are a few tips that might help with the snow and ice we have accumulated. Just think on March 20th 2014 spring is here!
1. Rock Salt
The most common, by far, is rock salt. We drop about five million tonnes of the stuff every year to prevent our driveways, steps and sidewalks from becoming mini skating rinks. The benefit: it’s cheap and available everywhere. The downside: it contains cyanide and chloride, making it dangerous for plants and pets.
2. Heat Mats
In-ground heat mats are a possible alternative for people who are building a new house or are about to replace their driveway. But for most everyone else, they’re prohibitively expensive.
3. "Green" Products
A number of products on the market are advertised as all-natural or environmentally friendly, but even those can be corrosive, expensive or just plain ineffective. Calcium magnesium acetate, for example, is biodegradable, but it only de-ices when the air temperature is -3ºC or warmer.
Sand or gravel are good for creating traction, making icy surfaces less dangerous to walk across, but they can create a goopy mess and clog up storm drains during a thaw.
5. Shovel Regularly
As with most things, there’s no easy way out. The most effective method—one that is green and works 100 per cent of the time—is to prevent snow from building up and turning into ice in the first place. That means shoveling as soon as the white stuff hits the ground, even if it involves venturing out mid-storm.
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