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Minnesota, Don’t Salt Your Steps This Winter!

Safe Paw Road Salt Alternative

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its updated outlook and predicts that Minnesota can expect more snow than usual in the coming winters.

“With La Nina well established and expected to persist through the upcoming 2020 winter season, we anticipate the typical, cooler, wetter North, and warmer, drier South, as the most likely outcome of winter weather that the U.S. will experience this year,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. However, there is a silver lining in the forecast. The northwestern part of the State has higher chances of near-normal temperatures, according to NOAA’s forecast.

Minnesotans have started gearing up to face the upcoming snowy winter with a long to-do list before the season starts. One of the biggest winter woes is to keep your steps free from the treacherous layer of ice.

Spreading salt on the driveway and sidewalks is the most popular solution to get an ice-free surface. But do you know that common chloride-based salts wreak significant damage to your concrete-based driveway and sidewalks? These salts are also poisonous to your pets and can damage your plants.

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Now, in this article, we will explore other ways to keep driveways and sidewalks ice-free without using these chloride-based harmful salts.

1. Shoveling

One of the most effective ways to keep your steps free from ice is to shovel early and remove the fresh snow before it starts to freeze into a slippery hard ice layer. The downside is that shoveling is laborious, takes a lot of time, and is hard on your back. Moreover, if you are dealing with a frozen layer of ice, then shoveling it away becomes onerous and can cause severe injuries due to slip & fall accidents.

2. Use of eco-friendly and pet-friendly ice melt

You can also opt for urea-based ice melt without salt that can melt the ice in temperatures as low as -2 degrees. The crystalline amide-based solution is one of the only ice melt without salt that guarantees its safety around children and pets. They are also non-corrosive ice melt for concrete and don’t cause damage to the concrete driveways and sidewalks.

The composition includes a modified crystalline amide core that is infused with a special glycol admixture and traction agent. On contact with snow, the outer layer attacks immediately while the crystal core penetrates slowly, to eliminate all snow and ice.

3. Traction Agents

The traction agent doesn’t melt the ice, but it increases the friction and prevents the chances of slip and fall accidents. These are mostly organic items like sand, wood shavings, sawdust, and kitty litter. Traction agents are less harmful and are cost-efficient in comparison to ice melt, but they are also not that effective in making the surface non-slippery. 

4. Snow Melting Mats

If you don’t want to use any salt or ice melt on the steps, then you can also go for 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.

Looking for more chemical-free, natural ice melt solutions that are safe and effective to use this winter? Check them out here.

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