With winter upon us, the chore of snow removal becomes a crucial task for maintaining safety and accessibility. In this guide, we’ll explore effective snow removal techniques and the use of chemicals to keep your driveways, walkways, and patios clear during the frosty season.

1. The Right Tools for the Job:

Having the right tools is essential. Invest in a sturdy snow shovel, a snow blower for larger areas, and ice melt spreaders for efficient application.

2. Snow Removal Techniques:

A. Shoveling:

  • Start early: Begin shoveling as soon as the snow accumulates to prevent compacted ice.
  • Lift with your legs: Use proper lifting techniques to avoid strain on your back.
  • Shovel in layers: Remove snow in layers to make the process more manageable.

B. Snow Blowing:

  • Choose the right snow blower: Select a snow blower based on the size of your driveway and the amount of snowfall in your region.
  • Follow a pattern: Use a systematic pattern to ensure thorough coverage without missing spots.

C. De-icing:

  • Salt application: Apply rock salt or calcium chloride before the snowfall to prevent ice formation.
  • Sand for traction: Use sand on walkways for added traction, especially in areas with freezing rain.

3. Choosing the Right De-icing Chemicals:

A. Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride):

  • Affordable and widely available.
  • Effective at temps above 12°F
  • Can harm vegetation and corrode surfaces with prolonged use.

B. Calcium Chloride:

  • Effective at temps to -25°F
  • Melts ice quickly and effectively.
  • Less harmful to vegetation and surfaces but more expensive.

C. Magnesium Chloride:

  • Environmentally friendly alternative.
  • Effective to 5°F
  • Less corrosive than other chemicals.

D. Potassium Chloride:

  • Safer for pets and vegetation.
  • Effective to 20°F.
  • Slow melting process.

4. Precautions and Environmental Considerations:

  • Use de-icing chemicals sparingly to minimize environmental impact.
  • Avoid piling snow in areas where meltwater can refreeze, creating ice patches.

5. Eco-friendly Alternatives:

  • Sand: Provides traction without harming the environment.
  • Kitty litter or sawdust: Adds traction and absorbs moisture without environmental impact.

Snow removal is not just about clearing pathways but doing so efficiently and responsibly. By combining effective techniques with the right choice of de-icing chemicals, you can ensure safe and accessible driveways, sidewalks and patios.  And of course, if you would prefer to stay indoors, Salina’s Landscape Consultants provides snow removal services – call today to reserve your place in our schedule.