How to Melt Snow and Ice: What Are Your Options?
Dec 05, · Using sodium chloride to melt ice Sodium Chloride, otherwise known as rock salt, is one of the most common ice melts in the country. It keeps moisture away, which helps keep the roads from icing. Feb 18, · This magical homemade ice melt is easy to make, too. In a bucket, combine a half-gallon of hot water, about six drops of dish soap, and ? cup of rubbing alcohol. Once you pour the homemade ice melt.
Outdoor walkways, whether a simple path connecting your driveway to your main entryway or a winding backyard path that lets you more fully enjoy your landscaping, add value and usability to your home. Yet, that path to your driveway, pool deck, fire pit, gazebo, or garden will need to be deiced to be used during winter.
And unless you find another way to melt the snow and ice off your walkways besides with salt, you may end up damaging them and shortening their lifespan. The three main materials homeowners use for solid walking paths are concrete, brick, and stone. Let us see how salt affects each one of them:. While rock salt and other deicers are effective, depending on the outdoor temperature, at melting away snow and ice, they can also damage the surface and inner structure of concrete pavements.
Salt, being slightly acidic, lower concrete's pH level and increases the size of pores on your concrete's surface. Additionally, salts are "hygro-scopic," which means they attract and absorb water. Surface deterioration, called "spalling," is the main result in this case. Third, salt speeds up the corrosion of reinforcement metals in your concrete.
This happens, in part, due to a lowered pH level, which is harder on steels. A second way reinforcement is rusted is by the chlorides that salts bring into the concrete, how to open exe source code chlorides cut through the steel's outer protective layer and expose it to easier corrosion. Experts argue about the best way to deice brick, whether by snow blowers or a simple shovel, but they all agree that salts and deicers are harmful to bricks.
However, salts leave crystal deposits on bricks that seep into their surface and cause "efflorescence. It can be easily washed off with water, but it will continue to reappear for years once it has been deeply absorbed into the brick through its porous surface.
There are many different varieties of stone used for walkways, including slate, limestone, and flag stone, and each type of stone may react slightly differently to winter's snow and ice. They may also react differently to salts, but here is a general description of how salt affects most stone materials. Tekkit server how to install with bigger pore sizes are most susceptible to this kind of damage. We mention frost damage because, in some cases, it is only after stone has been damaged by salt that ordinary frosts begin to significantly further deteriorate it.
Salt, then, will accelerate the deterioration of all major materials used for home walkways and paths. As an aside, note that it also will kill off vegetation lining those walking paths and cost you more on landscaping next spring. One of the most practical solution is to use snow-melting mats along outdoor walkways during the winter.
These consist of two layers of slip-resistant rubber that surround a central heating element. They can be left on to keep paths continually clear or used as needed. They how to get rid of aphids on my lupins melt several inches of snow in an hour or two, depending on conditions, and they can also keep run-off from refreezing.
The only other options would be to plant your path with a salt-resistant herb like Thyme, use loose gravel, or install a sub-pavement snow-melt system. The latter option is relatively expensive, though sometimes worthwhile. The first two options eliminate concern about salt damage but make it difficult to shovel snow if necessary. Outdoor walkways, whether made of concrete, brick, or stone, can all be damaged by salts found in common deicers.
Snow-melting mats are one of the best ways to eliminate this dilemma, in addition to alternative snow removal options mentioned above. The HeatTrak Homeowner Blog. Let us see how salt affects each one of them: Salt Damage to Concrete While rock salt and other deicers are effective, depending on the outdoor temperature, at melting away snow and ice, they can also damage the surface and inner structure of concrete pavements.
Salt Damage to Brick Experts argue about the best way to deice brick, whether by snow blowers or a simple shovel, but they all agree that salts and deicers are harmful to bricks. Salt Damage to Stone There are many different varieties of stone used for walkways, including what are cub scout leaders called, limestone, and flag stone, and each type of stone may react slightly differently to winter's snow and ice.
How to Keep Paths Clear Without Salt Salt, then, will accelerate the deterioration of all major materials used for home walkways and paths. Comments on this post 0. Leave a comment Name.
Last Updated: April 6, References. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 20, times. Learn more Snow can pile up quickly after a big storm and become a nuisance. Not only do you have to shovel the snow, you have to melt it as well to keep it away. Fortunately, there are tons of options when it comes to melting snow. Some methods are traditional and expensive, such as applying rock salt, while others are unorthodox and cheap, like using alfalfa meal or leftover coffee grounds.
Whichever method you pick, you can make snow disappear in no time! Tip : Hardware stores will often run out of rock salt. If you see a storm coming in the forecast, head out to your local hardware store as soon as you can and get a few bags of rock salt. Did you know? Alfalfa meal has a grainy texture which provides traction for your car as you exit your driveway. Tip : Start by applying this solution to the steps and pathway leading up to your home.
Download Article Explore this Article methods. Related Articles. Method 1 of All rights reserved. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc. Use water softener salt pellets as a cost-effective way to melt snow. This material is sold at hardware stores and is relatively cheap. Spread the salt pellets evenly over your driveway before or after a snow storm.
Best of all, you only need to use one bag of these pellets per winter! Do not use this material if you have pets. Sprinkle pet-safe pellets onto your driveway. If you have pets, use this material instead of water softener salt pellets.
Simply spread a few handfuls of these pellets evenly across the snow. You can spread these pellets before it snows if you'd like. Apply rock salt for a traditional way to melt snow. Rock salt remains an effective way to get rid of snow and is cheaper than pet-safe pellets. You can buy bags of rock salt at your local hardware store and spread it across your driveway before or after a storm to melt snow.
A little bit of salt goes a long way. Use 0. If you use too much salt, it could cause permanent damage to your asphalt driveway. Do not use rock salt if you have pets. Method 2 of Spread alfalfa meal over the snow to melt it and create traction. Alfalfa meal is mostly used as an organic fertilizer, but it makes for a surprisingly effective snow melter.
Use alfalfa meal sparingly, sprinkling only a few handfuls onto the snow in your driveway. You can spread the alfalfa meal before it snows as well. Try leftover coffee grounds to melt ice and snow. Coffee grounds are a pet-safe material that have nitrogen and acids in them that effectively melt snow. Scatter the grounds along your driveway right after you shovel the snow away, or before it begins to snow in the first place. If your sidewalks are icy, spread some grounds over them to add extra grip.
Use all of the leftover grounds you have in your home to get the job done. You can spread these material the same way you would coffee grounds. However, they can be harmful to your pets, so don't use them if you have a dog. Cover your driveway with plastic tarps before a storm comes. In the hours leading up to a storm, place plastic tarps along the pathways that lead from your driveway to your house and on your driveway itself.
Depending on how much snow falls, you might have to shovel the snow off the tarp itself. If only 1—2 inches 2. Method 3 of Fill a bucket with about 1. Instead of using alfalfa meal, coffee grounds, or tarp, you can create a homemade snow melter and use it as an alternative to ice. The hotter the water is, the faster the snow will melt initially. While you can use warm water to melt the snow, hot water will be more effective.
Let the faucet run for about 1 minute and place your hand under the stream to check the temperature of the water. This is a pet-safe option. Add 1 teaspoon 4. Measure the dish soap and rubbing alcohol in a spoon and pour the contents into the bucket. Use the same spoon to stir the mixture for 5 minutes to combine the water with the dish soap and rubbing alcohol.
Spread the solution across the snow. Take the bucket outside and pour the solution onto the snow. Evenly spread the mixture onto the steps of your home, the pathway leading up to your house, and your driveway.
Make the solution again and apply it multiple times. Mix hot water, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol together in that same bucket and go back over the front of your home and your driveway to melt as much snow as you can.
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