Snow and Ice Management for your Driveway
So you want to know if you can put salt on your concrete driveway, huh? Max Goodmanson from Goodmanson Construction here with a few concrete tips on snow and ice management. Having cleared snow and ice since 1971 we’ve learned a few do’s and don’ts about cleaning up your driveways and such after the snow hits.
Hold the Salt!
You should NOT use salt on a concrete driveway.
Salt can and will eat away at the surface of your concrete and asphalt.
So What do I use Instead?
Kitty Litter is a good alternative for traction and the melting of ice.
Sand is another alternative that’s going to give you some traction on the ice, though it’s not going to help as much with melting.
Chemical Deicers: While most chemical deicers do not attack properly placed and cured concrete they increase the freeze/thaw cycles which can contribute to damage to your concrete and asphalt. So, if you choose to use a deicer, ice and snow should always be removed promptly and any excess deicer brushed away after the surface has been cleared.
Salt is also in short supply and mostly used by commercial snow removal companies.
Sometimes You Gotta Do What you Gotta Do
Safety is the most important thing. So if all you’ve got some salt and that’s all you have, and that’s the only thing you can do to get rid of the slip hazard… Hey, I get it. Safety is first. If the choice is between using salt and not removing the ice at all and leaving a slip hazard on your property, your hands are kind of tied.
But hey, wouldn’t it be nice if you weren’t in that position at all? Here are some helpful tips for how we can avoid getting into that choice to begin with.
First, it is nice to have your concrete or asphalt clear of any leaves and twigs before the snow falls. This makes shoveling and snow blowing much easier and efficient.
For those who use a snow thrower, a rubber paddled one is best for your surface. Be it concrete or asphalt the steel bladed snow throwers can scratch the surface where as the rubber ones will not. The same goes for your shovels. A plastic bladed shovel is the way to go for the places you can’t use the thrower. Plastic is lighter and doesn’t scratch the surface.
Ice may also be a problem in this winter wonderland we live in.
The best way I have found to deal with ice is to make sure you keep up with clearing the snow. The first snow fall is the most important because if you don’t get your driveway, patios and sidewalks clean after the first snow, you are sure to get ice from melting in the day and refreezing over night.
Once you have a layer of ice on the surface it will be very difficult to shovel and/or blow the following snow falls. In other words, the best way to deal with the ice is to have no ice to begin with. We all know that’s never going to happen in Minnesota, so here are a couple things to keep in mind should you get ice.
There you have it… Clear any debris from your driveway/sidewalks/patios. Use rubber paddled snow throwers. Use plastic shovels. Avoid salt and other chemicals by keeping the surface clean.