During the winter months, many of us search for ways to keep our driveways free of snow and ice. Here in New England, battling the blistery winter weather requires three simple tools; a snow shovel, sidewalk scraper and ice melt. As a New Englander, you must become well versed in how to remove the snow and keep your family safe from falls. Having a few easy tips in mind, you will keep your pavement bare until the spring sun comes out of hibernation.
When the forecast calls for snow or ice, I sprinkle ice melt on my walkway and driveway using a dry food container. I find these containers to be more convenient than an expensive ice melt spreader and it’s certainly better than using your hands. The purpose is to keep snow and ice from sticking to the ground. Because New England weather can be so unpredictable I like to keep a container full of ice melt next to my front door.
When the storm hits a lull or has concluded, I scrape and shovel as much snow and ice off the driveway as possible. Shoveling only a path to your car and driving over any un-cleared snow will cause it to melt or compact and refreeze in the form of ice.
Once my walkways and driveway are clear of snow, I sprinkle more ice melt to prevent any further refreezing. As the temperature warms during the day and drops again at night, any untreated areas will freeze back into ice by morning. Having a dry food container full of ice melt by the door makes it very easy to manage icy spots you missed around the entryways, keeping your family safe from slipping in the morning.
When using ice melt to manage your walkways and driveways like I do, it’s important to be cautious around your pets. Traditional ice melts may be a convenient, cheap, and easy way to get the upper hand on the snow and ice, but if consumed it can injure your pets, especially dogs who love the taste of salt. I stopped using ice melt products in my back yard and gave that domain to my dogs. That way I know they are getting their exercise without having to worry about them licking the ground clean. When the season is over I store ice melt in a Utility Can in my garage or basement where I know it will be safe from accidents during the warm months when it won’t be needed.