The winter season is fast approaching. Although it is fun to see those first snowflakes fall from the sky, it won’t be as fun when you have to deal with snow and ice outdoors, especially on the concrete driveway. When it comes to deicers, salt is the most popular option. However, there are many reasons why driveway owners don’t want to use it, such as:
- Salt builds up on soil and it can make the soil not ideal for plants
- It can leach heavy metals into the soil and water supply
- Some animals are attracted by salt so expect to find some licking salt off of the driveway
- It can break down concrete, making it weak and brittle
Fortunately, there are eco-friendly alternatives that you could use to melt ice off of the driveway or to at least enhance traction on the surface.
This, of course, is the traditional method of removing snow and thin ice on a driveway. If you do it on your own, you get good exercise. If you hire a kid in the neighborhood, you get to help him earn extra bucks.
A snow blower is a helpful machine to keep snow from piling up on the driveway. However, if you must use this, choose the electric type. It requires less air and is quieter than the gas-powered type.
Snow Melt Mat
This is similar to a heated garage floor. Electric wires are installed underneath the driveway and these heat up to melt the snow on top. Although it does use electricity to heat up, it eliminates the use of any toxic substance or material that could cause harm to humans, plants, and animals. This is only ideal for driveways that are yet to be installed or that needs to be replaced.
Sand, Kitty Litter, or Sawdust
These do not melt snow or loosen ice but they could enhance grip and traction on the driveway. Just be ready for the mess you have to clean up when the snow completely clears out.
A 70% rubbing alcohol has a freezing point of -20 degrees F so it is an ideal deicer for driveways. Some car windshield deicers contain rubbing alcohol. However, for an entire driveway, it is probably an expensive alternative.
Salt is not the only option. If you need something to increase traction and loosen the ice on your concrete driveway, opt for something eco-friendly. Try each one of these until you find the one that works for you.