Snow Removal Tips This Winter For Icy Lawns and Driveways

Man using snowblower to clear deep snow on driveway near residential house after heavy snowfall.

PREVENT THOSE PAINFUL SLIPS AND FALLS THIS WINTER

“Every year there are many people suffering broken bones, bruises or worse due to icy sidewalks and driveways” says Kevin Johnson president of All American Turf Beauty

Ice melt products are one of the tools that a homeowner can employ to keep driveway and walks free of icy conditions. With the many products available on the market, it can be confusing to find the product that provides the desired results under a variety of conditions.

There are a variety of ice melt products such as calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium chloride and urea. As a consumer looking to purchase an ice melt product, there are certain product characteristics to consider before buying. Here’s a short list of characteristics to consider:

  1. Effective melting temperature
  2. How quickly the product works
  3. Can it cause damage to concrete/asphalt?
  4. Cost of ice-melt product
  5. Environmental safety to plants and animals
  6. Precautions to exercise when using the products

Effective melting temperature measures the lowest temperature at which the product continues to melt ice/snow. The effective temperature can range from 25° F all the way down to -25° F. If you need to melt ice at a certain temperature range, a consumer needs to purchase a corresponding product that works at that range.

The best place to find information concerning your ice melt product is on the product label. It is always best to consult the label to find the product that meets your particular criteria.

STEPS TO BETTER DEICING:

Step 1: Clear any snow accumulation.

Step 2: Apply the product correctly – according to label directions. Applying more ice-melt product is not better and will not make the product work better if the current temperature is below the effective melting temperature of the product that has been used. It is best to use a wheeled or hand held spreader if you have one.

If you use too much in an area, spread the product out with a broom.

Ice-melt works by breaking the bond between the pavement and the ice. Once this bond has been broken, the ice can easily be removed. Some experts recommend that you apply your ice-melt before an expected ice storm to make ice removal easier.

Step 3: Protect your concrete surfaces. Most of the damage to concrete is caused by using too much ice-melt and the freeze/thaw cycle that the concrete has been subjected to. It is critical to follow the application amount on the product label to protect your concrete. Ice-melt products should not be used on concrete that is less than 12 months old.

Some ice melts can truly damage paved surfaces. Magnesium in any form, especially magnesium chloride is very damaging to concrete.

Step 4: Avoid spreading excessive amounts of ice-melt product around plants and areas of your lawn as excessive amount can cause plant damage/death.

In conclusion:

Using ice-melt products is often times essential to providing safe walking conditions in icy conditions. How successful an ice-melt product works comes down to proper product selection; and proper application of the product.

Snow Removal is difficult heavy work. Many homeowners find it convenient to hire a professional to take care of these winter chores to insure it’s done correctly and in a timely manner.” says Johnson.

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