Tips for snow and ice removal on sidewalk and driveways
Winter can mean mounds of snow to shovel and layers of ice to remove from our sidewalks and driveways. We often make the job easier by applying deicers like salt. Besides sodium chloride, many deicers also contain chemicals like cyanide. When ice melts, the salts and chemicals dissolve and flow into street drains that lead directly to the river, endangering aquatic life.
Here are a few tips to reduce salt use and prevent pollution year-round:
Use a deicer such as Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)
CMA was developed as a deicing alternative because it has fewer adverse environmental impacts than salt and doesn’t cause corrosion. While CMA is more expensive than rock salt, it is recommended for environmentally sensitive areas.
Before applying a deicer, think about the air temperature, the potential for sun exposure, and how much product you'll need. Remember to follow label directions carefully and use products sparingly. It's easy to over apply deicers, but applying more than you need won't melt your ice any faster.
For Dry, Powdery Snow: Shovel or sweep snow immediately to avoid using deicer.
For Wet, Heavy Snow: Apply deicer product as soon as snow begins falling in order to prevent it from bonding.
For Sleet & Freezing Rain: Apply deicer product early on during these
conditions to prevent ice from building up.
For Significant Snowfall: When more than two inches of snow falls, plow or shovel first and then use a deicing product to melt any underlying layers of ice that have built up due to packed down snow.
Most importantly use safe methods for shoveling especially when managing heavy wet snow.