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Salt alternatives for driveway and walkway maintenance

Residential Slips and falls are always most prevalent during the wintertime, when ice and snow accumulate on walkways, driveways and sidewalks. For most homeowners, this means shoveling and purchasing a large bag of salt. However, early reports have suggested that salt may be in short supply this winter.

Sources point to a strike that occurred at the salt mine Goderich, along with the extra salt required to remedy last spring’s ice storm as the primary reasons behind this shortage. While this shortage is not expected to have much of an impact on homeowners, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with salt alternatives. Here are a few things to consider, if you happen to find yourself in a slippery situation.

Shovel Often. Shovel Well.

The first line of defense against ice pathways at home is to simply ensure that you are shoveling on a regular basis. You have less chance of creating slippery surfaces when snow is removed as often as possible. If you are physically unable to shovel frequently or don’t have the time, try hiring s neighbouhood youngster or lawn care service (some offer this type of service during the off season to do the job for you.

Snow Melter Mats

Electrical snow/ice melting mats are available to help you easily maintain your walkways and driveways all winter long. According to heat mat manufacturers, Heat Track, these mats are safe, easy to use and cost less than $1 a day to run.

Ice Melt

While there are several different varieties of ice melt, most varieties are comprised of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride. Due to the fact that many varieties of ice melt both form a brine and also generate heat, they are a highly effective means of keeping your outdoor surfaces free of ice, even in temperatures as low as -31 degrees Celsius.

Some varieties of ice melt are also considered safer to use in homes with small children and pets.

Sand/Kitty Litter/Coffee Grounds

Don’t forget about tried and true sand, kitty litter or even coffee grounds to prevent winter slips and falls. While neither will actually melt ice and snow, they do provide extra grip for improved traction.

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