Here in Canada, we are used to long, cold winters and lots of snow. However, with all of this comes the risk of ice and dangerous conditions. People can slip, fall and hurt themselves badly. This can lead to legal issues. Cars can also skid and accidents can occur. When it comes to your own home, you want to make sure that you play your part to reduce accidents from happening. Let’s take a look at how you can help to keep your driveway and sidewalk safe by properly de-icing them.
1. Choosing A De-icer
A lot of these de-icers have mineral salts. These salts dissolve and seep down so that it creates a layer of liquid under the ice that can be removed rather easily. While this is great, what’s not so great is the fact that the chemicals that turn the ice into water are dangerous to both plant life and animal life. They can also contaminate water. You can help to reduce this danger by thinking of the environment. Look at the labels when buying these products. Try to get those with less danger attached to it. If you don’t know, you could always ask the people who run the store.
Even if you buy less harmful products, you could try to use it sparingly. You could mix it with sand or even kitty litter. This will enable you to use less of the product. This can also help with traction when walking. The chances of damaging your plants are reduced.
2. Consider Average Temperature
Before you buy any liquid de-icers, consider the temperature of where you live. If the temperature falls below a certain level, then the de-icer may not work as intended. Calcium chloride works at lower temperatures, unlike sodium chloride. If you can make a rough estimate as to the average temperature of where you live, you can make a better choice in the de-icing product you choose. There may be a bit of trial and error involved. Afterwards, you should go and check to see what kind of results you got, to see if it was effective or not. Normally, around 15 to 30 minutes, the ice should show signs of melting. If it does not, then the temperature was probably too low for the de-icer you picked.
It is also important to keep the driveway and walkway shovelled. When there is a lot of foot traffic, this will turn to ice. After the snow falls, the sooner you do this, the better. Use proper techniques in order to avoid injuring yourself.
4. The Sidewalk
Depending on where you live, you may (or may not) be responsible for shovelling the sidewalk. If you are indeed responsible, then you should de-ice the sidewalk too. You have several hours to do so. You can be fined if you do not play your part. It is advisable to sprinkle an ice-removal product on your driveway and sidewalk sooner rather than later. Even before a storm hits, you can pre-treat it. By doing so, in the long run, you could use less de-icer.
Remember that if you go on vacation, you should arrange with someone to help take care of your property. If someone gets hurt, you may still be held liable. Make sure to check your home insurance policy to see where you stand.