There’s so much to love about the upcoming winter season, with all the snow-related entertainment and the holiday festivities- however, all this fun also comes with responsibility. Though the snow may look beautiful as it falls, it’s still your responsibility to remove it from your property to ensure the safety of everyone. Since you probably don’t want to slip and fall every time you head out, you should make sure you properly deice your driveway as early-on in the winter season as possible.
The harsh weather conditions that winter brings can lead to dangerous situations on the road and walkways, and you should make sure you combat the potential consequences of an icy driveway and walkway immediately.
One of the best methods to deice your driveway is by using chemical deicers, or salts. Chemical deicers work by melting the ice and preventing the formation of ice as well. Salts lower the freezing point of water, and this prevents the formation of a bond between the ice and paved surfaces. Once the ice is unable to form a bond, it melts easily. This method of ice removal is highly effective, in fact, properly deicing the pavement with salts can reduce accidents by 85%-88%.
Chloride Based Deicers
Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, and Calcium Chloride are the most universally used deicers available. Sodium chloride is made into a brine and then several additives are added to increase its ability to melt ice. Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride are purchased in the form of pellets, flakes, or liquid form.
If you’re looking for a stronger alternative to get better results, you also have the option of purchasing complex chloride minerals. Complex chloride minerals are made up of a variety of different minerals as opposed to just pure rock salt, and they are more efficient at melting ice.
Apart from chloride-based deicers, you can also try acetate-based deicers for effective ice removal. Acetate-based deicers are beneficial because they are not as corrosive to steel-based products, and they are also biodegradable. However, they are reactive to zinc and they may not be as strong as other chemical deicers. Common Acetate-based deicers include Calcium-Magnesium Acetate and Potassium Acetate.
Some deicers have carbohydrate additives to improve the performances of the chloride ingredients. When chloride has small quantities of carbohydrates added to it, it can enhance the ice melting performance and decrease the number of times the mixture must be applied. Carbohydrate additives work by interfering with ice crystal formation, reducing the freezing point of the brine, and reducing the corrosive properties of the deicer. Carbohydrate additives can have environmental downsides, such as contributing to algal bloom, so if you are looking for something more environmentally friendly, this probably won’t be the best choice for you.
Environmentally Friendly Deicers
Chemical deicers are great at removing ice, but they do come with potential environmental downsides. Some salts can cause corrosion to vehicles, bridges, and roads. After the snow melts, these deicers can also lead to nitrate run-off that damages plant-life and also aquatic life once the toxins make it to the nearest body of water.
However, there are environmentally friendly deicers available that are effective yet great for the environment at the same time. If you’re afraid of harming nature, you can try using environmentally friendly deicers.
Some examples of environmentally- friendly deicers include:
- Beet sugar
- Pet-safe deicers made of Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA), Potassium Chloride (KCl), or Calcium Chloride (CaCl2)
- White vinegar and water
When you use environmentally friendly deicers, the runoff can even help fertilize the soil, as opposed to causing harm to plants and wildlife.
How Can I Deice my Vehicle?
Apart from deicing your pavement, you also need to deice your car to continue your daily activities in the winter. Often, a thin layer of ice can form on your windshield and this can make driving on the snow-covered roads even more dangerous.
You can prevent ice formation on your vehicle by applying a deicing solution to the windshield. If you forgot to take preventative measures and the ice already formed on your windshield, you should avoid pounding on it as this can-do serious damage to your vehicle. Pouring hot water on your windshield can also cause the glass to break due to the sudden temperature change. The best way to melt the ice is to use the car’s defroster and to scrape the ice off with an ice scraper as it melts.
What Steps Should I Take to Deice My Driveway?
Applying the right amount of deicing solution on your driveway before a big storm hits can significantly prevent ice formation on the pavement. Since ice removal is one of the most difficult parts of cleaning a driveway during the winter, taking this simple step can considerably reduce the amount of time you spend trying to make your driveway safe enough to walk on.
By taking steps towards preventing ice formation on your driveway, you get the following benefits:
- Safer pavement
- Reduced usage of the deicing solution when snow falls
- Prevention of the formation of frost
- Several days of ice-free pavement
- Quick results
- Saving time
If you’re unable to anti-ice your property properly, you can turn to deicing. Deicing is when the snow and ice have already accumulated, and you take steps to remove the ice. Deicing costs more than taking preventative measures, but it is the most common form of winter maintenance.
You can deice your pavement mechanically, but this is very labor-intensive, and it can damage the equipment used. The best way to clear up your pavement is by using chemical deicers to make the ice easier to remove. Each chemical deicer usually comes with its own set of instructions on how much to apply and often you should use it. However, you can avoid major mistakes such as over-salting by using measurement tools and calibrated spreaders. You can also reduce the risk of oversalting by applying the salts on your pavement based on the temperature.
Get in touch with a lawn-care professional at Divine Lawns to learn more about how you can effectively clear the ice and snow from your property.