Coloradans, Stop Salting Your Pavements!
If we deduce from the general trend, it has been found that Colorado ends up receiving a drier than normal winter in the La Nina years. But according to Farmer’s Almanac, Colorado will get more than enough snow this winter. It 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.
Colorado looks beautiful covered in white snow. We Coloradans love snow, but it’s always a challenge to keep driveways and sidewalks free from ice build-up without damaging it.
If your driveways, steps, and sidewalk are composed of concrete or asphalt, then you have to be a little careful before using salt or chloride to melt snow in winters.
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Salt or chloride-based ice melt can wreak significant damage to the otherwise highly durable and super strong concrete and asphalt driveways. When the salt comes in contact with wate,r it 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.
So how to clear snow from pavements without damaging it? In this article, we will explore other ways to keep driveways and sidewalks ice-free without using these chloride-based harmful salts.
1- Chemical free ice melt
Instead of rock salt or chemical-based ice melt, you can use chloride-free, salt-free deicers that act gently on the concrete and do not cause cracks and flakes on your driveways and pavements. These non-corrosive ice melters are concrete safe and come with a preventive Teflon effect that creates an invisible layer on the deiced surface, making it easier to shovel also.
2- Pre-treating the surface
You can also protect your driveway by pre-treating your driveway with the best ice melter for new concrete and preventing the snow from freezing up when it hits the ground. However, if the ice melt is not used in moderate quantities, it can be corrosive to the pavement. Therefore, rinse off the solution once the temperature rises and snow gets cleared.
3- Snow melting mats
Another way to avoid using chemicals and salt on your concrete pavement is by using a snow melting mat. Just plug it in, and the mat will start melting the snow in no time.
Snow melting mats reduce your snow-removal efforts to a great extent, but they are expensive and are heavy on your electricity bill. The mats also come with a limited useful life and are subject to regular wear and tear.
4- Seal the deal
Due to the porous nature of the concrete, water creeps in, and the frequent freeze-thaw cycle causes hydraulic pressure on the concrete resulting in the development of cracks. Therefore, a flexible sealant should be used to seal the cracks and prevent moisture from getting into the concrete.
It’s always a great idea to stay prepared before the winters arrive. I hope you’ve your stock of ice melter that is concrete safe ready with you before it starts to snow.
Looking for more chemical-free, natural ice melt solutions that are safe and effective to use this winter? Check them out here.