Finding a safe, effective and cost-efficient slippery sidewalk solution is every Calgarians dream. The common solution of sticking a heat mat down before the ice arrives will drive your energy bill sky high given the length of the icy winter season in Calgary. Those who choose to put salt down after the fact are overly reliant on the melting properties of salt which decrease as the air temperature falls. Using salt to prevent icy steps gradually degrades, or pits, the concrete. These concrete pits slowly widen as ice fills and expand them with each storm, leading to cracks and potholes. Salt can also corrode any metal fixings in your sidewalks.
These are all excellent reasons why you need to work out how to melt ice without salt or heat.
Here are some alternative icy driveway and sidewalk solutions:
- Cat litter – this is especially great for cat owners, as you’ll already have this in ready supply. However, even if you don’t have a furry friend at home, cat litter is a great slippery sidewalk solution as it provides natural traction on top of the slippery ice. Make sure you buy biodegradable litter to avoid chemical erosion of your sidewalk.
- Calcium magnesium acetate – this is a synthetic chemical mix, but it has been formulated specifically for use on concrete sidewalks and stone stairways. These crystals will melt ice even with an outside temperature of -6 degrees and is even safe for the sewers and nearby soil when the ice eventually melts and runs off. However, it will dissolve and mix in with the icy mix, meaning that you’ll have to reapply it after each storm.
- Soap and rubbing alcohol – finally, if you’re on a budget or looking for a quick fix in the case of a sudden winter storm, you can mix two teaspoons of dish detergent with two tablespoons of generic rubbing alcohol to make a solution to prevent icy steps. Shake the mixture well and apply over the area you want to keep ice free before the storm starts. The soap in the mixture won’t freeze, and ice and snow can’t stick to the soapy substance.
These are all solutions that require a little thought and preparation and are great in a pinch to keep your sidewalks ice-free this winter. However, nothing beats the time old method of professional shovelling and ice management to prevent icy steps and driveways, as you’ll be sure that you’ve got everywhere clean without relying on chemicals or having the right ingredients in your home.
We know that it is difficult to keep up with the buildup of snow and ice around your home. We are consistently monitoring weather information in the area so that we are on top of any snowfall warnings and are ready to go without customers having to request service. That is why our shovelling crew will ensure your sidewalks and driveways are ice-free this winter with daily snow removal and ice management services.
Ask us today how we can help make your winter safe and worry free for as little as $100 per month.