An icy driveway is a potential hazard for many reasons. Not only can an icy driveway cause serious injury to you and your family, it is also a liability risk. Others may slip and fall on your property, which could result in an unexpected lawsuit. For your safety and peace of mind, here are some tips for keeping your driveway ice-free this winter:
Shoveling should always be your first deicing task. Shovel as much of the snow and ice off of your driveway as possible. Try breaking the ice with your shovel to help with removal.
If the ice cannot be removed by shoveling, lay down a deicer. You can buy bags of deicer at any hardware store.
There are many deicing options. Certain deicers can be hazardous to plants, pets, masonry, and water supplies. Be aware of what you are laying down and where you are putting it. Deicers that are environmentally-friendly and pet-safe are gaining popularity.
To protect yourself and your property, it is important to follow the instructions on the deicer.
Spread the deicer around your driveway moderately. Using a greater amount of deicer will not make the ice melt any quicker. In addition, the more deicer you use, the more likely you are to damage your landscape.
Sand and gravel are also commonly used on icy driveways. These materials will not dissolve the ice, but will provide traction for walking and driving. (This can be an effective method, but note that removing ice completely provides the greatest protection against injury and liability risk.) You may also combine sand with deicer to reduce the overall use of chemicals.
Remember, deicers are designed to be used in conjunction with shoveling. The purpose of a deicer is to thaw ice so that it is easier to remove, not to completely dissolve the ice.