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We’ve had a relatively mild winter so far, but the weather is finally starting to get cold and frigid. With the cold weather, comes snow. And with snow, comes slippery sidewalks and snow banks. Some love the white blanket covering their property. Others see the snow, and only see the chore of shoveling the snow out of the driveway so they can get to work. Whichever category you fall into, you should know the safest and most efficient ways to remove the snow obstructing your driveway and sidewalks.
Hand shoveling the snow away can be the fastest and safest snow removal method. A snow shovel works best when you have less than 3 inches of freshly fallen, non-compacted snow. The more hard compacted, thick, and heavy the snow gets, the harder the snow shoveling job becomes. You can still remove your snow this way, it will just become a more strenuous and time consuming job.
There are a few pros and cons to salt. It is most effective on melting ice. If you were to sprinkle rock salt over thick snow, it will seep through the snow and get to work on the ice beneath it. So unless the snow is in a very thin layer, you may not get the results you’re hoping for. Rock salt, or sodium chloride, is completely safe to use on asphalt. However, when used on concrete, it can break down the concrete. The salt seeps into the concrete, corroding the rebar and other reinforcements. The salt can also runoff into soil surrounding the area, which can cause damage to plants. So while rock salt is fine for asphalt, you may want to look for a non-chloride deicer for your concrete areas.
The most effective way to remove snow and ice, is to first shovel the snow away, and then sprinkle the area with rock salt or any other deicer. The salt will help melt the snow as it falls, meaning you won’t have to shovel the snow for a little while longer.
Leaving the snow alone
You can choose to leave the snow, which will save you lots of time in labor. This isn’t recommended for driveways, though, if you’ll be needing to leave your home. This is also a bad idea for places with heavy traffic, such as apartment complexes and business complexes. To make the snow less of a slip hazard, sprinkle cat litter or sand over the surface, to provide additional traction.