Farmers’ Almanac Predicts Snowy Winter For Chicago
According to the latest prediction from the Farmers’ Almanac, Chicago and much of Illinois can expect a “cold” and “very flaky” season. Some parts of Illinois can also witness above-normal snowfall in the upcoming winter season.
The Almanac predicts that “The Great Lakes region will get its fair share of snow”.
On average, Chicago sees 36.7 inches of snow. How much will it snow this time?
Let’s wait and watch. And in the meantime, let’s get prepared!
Every winter, it’s a challenge for homeowners to keep their driveways free from ice build-up without damaging it. The use of ice melter on the driveway becomes inevitable in snowy weather, but both concrete and asphalt-based driveways can suffer damage from common deicers.
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Effects Of Ice Melter On The Driveway
Salts can cause significant damage to the otherwise highly durable and super strong concrete driveways. Salt crystals make their way into the surface pores of the concrete and increase the water saturation level of the surface. Likewise, the snow melted due to the deicer salts also makes its way into the seeps and pores of the concrete driveway.
When the temperature drops below the freezing point the water in the pores of concrete expands and results in small cracks and fissures. Newly developed concrete driveways are more susceptible to this damage from deicer salts.
Salt and water seep into the crevices of the asphalt driveway and the freeze-thaw cycles of the absorbed water damages the brittle asphalt.
Non-Salt Solutions For The Driveways
Unfortunately, letting the snow accumulate on the driveway is not an option. We need to get rid of it before it causes any harm to anyone. Here are some no-salt solutions you can try-
1- Non-salt Ice melts
Some deicers contain no salt in any form. Safe Paw is a popular product that gently works on the snow and does not harm the driveways. It’s safe because it contains a proprietary blend of two unique ingredients. The outer layer liquefies on contact with ice and releases the amide core that penetrates the ice and breaks it up. So, the ice melts faster.
Apart from using a salt-free ice melter on the driveway, here’s what else you can do.
Sand doesn’t melt the snow, but it provides the required traction. Although it’s used by many people and municipalities also, it’s a messy solution that’s also not good for your pets (if you have any).
3- Heated Driveways
Another alternative to ice melt on the driveway is installing heated coils under an asphalt driveway. This is a pricey solution that requires an initial investment of a few thousand dollars but can be a long term solution. The system provides you with control over temperature setting and it even allows you to increase the temperature of a small portion of the driveway and melt the snow of that particular area.
4- Concrete Coatings
A concrete coating is a clear film that covers the concrete and prevents water absorption as they contain chemicals. Coatings that contain siloxane chemical allows the concrete to breathe while paraffin coating does not.