Has winter weather
turned your driveway into
an ice-skating rink?
Keeping your driveway ice-free is crucial, but can also be a major burden. Luckily, there are expert tips to make it a little easier. According to this article in Reader’s Digest Canada, here are five effective ways to de-ice your driveway and walkways, with tips on how to prevent ice from accumulating.
The most common way to de-ice your driveway is to use rock salt. We drop about five-million tonnes of the stuff every year to prevent our driveways, steps and sidewalks from becoming mini skating rinks. The benefit: it’s cheap and available everywhere. The downside: it contains cyanide and chloride, making it dangerous for plants and pets.
In-ground heat mats are a means of de-icing your driveway for people who are building a new house or are about to replace their driveway. But for most everyone else, they’re prohibitively expensive.
A number of de-icing products on the market are advertised as all-natural or environmentally friendly, but even those can be corrosive, expensive or just plain ineffective. Calcium magnesium acetate, for example, is biodegradable, but it only de-ices when the air temperature is 26ºF or warmer.
Sand or gravel are good for creating traction, making icy surfaces less dangerous to walk across, but they can create a goopy mess of driveway and clog up storm drains during a thaw.
As with most things, there’s no easy way out when it comes to de-icing your driveway. The most effective method—one that is green and works 100 per cent of the time—is to prevent snow from building up and turning into ice in the first place. That means shoveling snow as soon as the white stuff hits the ground, even if it involves venturing out mid-storm.