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Top Tools for Melting Ice This Winter
Prevent ice from forming
Clearing snow with a snow thrower or shovel as soon as possible helps prevent some ice from forming in the first place. If you want to go high-tech, you can place heated mats on your porch and in front of side and back doors. Such mats won’t cover your driveway, though. Despite the expense, installing heating cables under the concrete or pavement might make sense if you live in a state where winters are long and hard.
Attack the ice that forms
Big storms, busy days and weekends away can leave even the most prepared home surrounded by icy walkways and parking spots. That’s when it becomes time to break out the anti-snow and de-icing chemicals.
Spraying surfaces with a liquid compound before a snowstorm cuts down on ice formation. Once the snow stops falling and is removed, spreading a thin layer of salt and scraping surfaces might be required.
The best salts for removing ice are combination products that include pelletized calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. Plain sodium chloride corrodes unprotected metal and breaks down concrete over time. Also, ordinary salt only works to break up ice when the temperature is higher than 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whichever salt you choose, follow the directions precisely when applying it. And be sure to seal the package carefully after each use.
- Joliet, IL
I agree, Julie - a splendid tip and article !!! I too have made the switch to deicers that are better for the car and concrete a few years back... My front drive and sidewalk are on a steep grade, so I have to pre-plan for getting in the garage and for the postal deliverers :):):) !
I always seem to forget to de-ice BEFORE the snow hits! Hopefully, not this year! Great tips!