How to Safely De-Ice Your Driveway
Yep, it’s that time again… time to start prepping for the snow, ice, and mixed conditions with winter just around the corner! If you’re a homeowner, it’s important to know how to safely de-ice your driveway in the winter months since ice can lead to serious injuries. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that nearly one million people are injured from falls on the ice each year. Keeping your driveway clear of ice is not only critical for your family’s safety but for those who may visit your home, including friends, delivery drivers, etc. Ice skating is fun but not when it’s unexpected!
Perfect for creating traction, both sand and gravel can help to make icy surfaces less dangerous to walk across. If you’re really in a pinch (and happen to have a cat), kitty litter can also do the trick! Leaving a bag of sand or gravel in your car is also useful if you happen upon some ice during a road trip; it’s best to be prepared for all scenarios in the winter months.
Yep, you read that right! Rubbing alcohol is a great option for removing ice from your driveway. You can use 70% isopropyl alcohol in a quart or half-gallon spray bottle and spray it back and forth along your driveway. If you’re really in a pinch and don’t have this on hand, you could use vodka too! With either of these, you can add some hot water to the mix as well to speed up the de-icing process.
Of course, one of the best ways to keep the ice at bay is to shovel your driveway regularly. This will help prevent any build-up of snow that will melt and turn into ice. We recommend using a metal shovel to really dig in, rather than a flimsy plastic shovel.
Stay Away From Salt!
Typically, people suggest salt as one of the first options when it comes to ridding a driveway of ice. However, salt causes a lot of damage to concrete over time. Ever wonder where those potholes and cracks in the road come from? Salt! It causes corrosion over time, eating away at concrete paste and aggregate.
Unless you don’t mind paying for it in the future, we don’t recommend pouring salt onto your driveway. And if you have pets, salt can be quite harmful to them as well. It can get into their paw pads, causing injuries, irritation, and even burns to their paws, and in serious cases can lead to salt poisoning if they lick their paws regularly. It’s best to stay away from salt altogether!