Coloradans, No More Ice Melting Chemicals Please
Farmers’ Almanac is predicting ‘normal to below-normal temperatures on the Central Plains and the Rockies.’ The Almanac also predicts above-normal snowfall in the northern areas of Colorado and Utah.
Frequent change in temperature patterns is quite a common phenomenon here. It can get cold and snowy one day and then 60+ degrees the next.
Although we Coloradans love snow, it’s always a challenge to keep driveways and sidewalks free from ice build-up without damaging it.
According to a study, 60% of American households use rock salt or salt-based ice melt products, but only 38% of them are aware of its hazards. Almost all ice melt in the market contain chloride in one or the other form like- sodium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, etc.
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Dangers Of Using Ice-Melting Chemicals
Sodium chloride is poisonous to pets and kids. Sodium chloride is essentially the same as table salt, but it’s poisonous because it contains impurities and is not prepared with the same safety levels as table salt. Rock salt can also cause irritation, rashes, and burns to the eyes, skin, or paws of your pets. Every year the Poison Control Department gets many calls about children who put ice melting crystals into their mouths.
• Cracks the Concrete
Salt or chloride-based ice melt can wreak significant damage to the otherwise highly durable and super strong concrete and asphalt driveways. Newly developed driveways are more susceptible to this damage.
Salt and water seep percolates into the crevices of the concrete, forming a solution called brine. As the temperature increases and decreases, the freeze-thaw cycles of the absorbed water damages the surface resulting in cracks.
• Weakens the Rooftop
Chemical ice melt contains corrosive oxidizing agents that are suited for removing ice, but they also damage the shingles, nails, and other fittings. This, in turn, can adversely affect your rooftop and make it weak.
So, are there any chemical-free ways to effectively melt the ice and still be safe?
Luckily, there are.
Natural Ice Melt Solutions To Use This Winter
Urea is a natural fertilizer and is safe to use around pets. However, it should be used with caution around plants and vegetation, especially if it has high nitrogen content.
• Sugar beet juice
Sugar beet juice works by lowering the freezing point of the water and can be used to deice the driveways, sidewalks, and roads. A big downside of using this natural ice melter is that it turns the pathway into a red-brown mess.
Although sand doesn’t melt the ice, it’s a popular choice for adding traction and making parking lots and driveways less slippery.
Ashes may sound crude, but you can use them as a natural ice melt solution as well as for adding traction.
Alternatively, there are solutions that are salt-free, chloride-free, acetate-free, and that do not contain any toxins. They are completely safe to be used around kids and pets and do not harm your concrete rooftop, and garden.
Find out about chemical-free, natural ice melt solutions that are safe and effective to use this winter.