During winter the risk of sliding and falling onto your walkways is more than usual. Just like any other day, clearing our walkway with leaves that have fallen, or trash that suddenly that was swept by is our responsibility. To ensure safety during winter, you should also make it a habit to de-ice your walkways. Here are some tips to follow in how to de-ice your walkways.
Using rock salt or chemically known as sodium chloride may help de-ice your walkways. When salt is introduced to ice, its properties causes the ice to have a freezing point depression wherein the melting or freezing point of ice is lowered to the point where salt stops dissolving. This can only melt ice up to -9°C (15°F) and the ice chips as it melts which makes it easier to clear your walkways. Another compound that can be used is calcium chloride which melts the ice faster than sodium chloride.
The off side of this is that it is a moisture attractant which then may create a slippery walkway. Just like any compound, there are also negative effects because these are known to be corrosive and can damage concrete. Also when ice melts and chloride accumulates, having elevated levels of it in water sources may hinder plant growth due to root damage, weaken reproduction and possibly reduce diversity of organisms.
De-ice pellets can also be used. It can effectively melt ice up to -15°C and is cost effective because since it can melt ice 5 to 100 grams per square meter. This does not harm vegetation that is why it is considered as a friendlier alternative than rock salt.
There is also natural de-icer that can be used as an alternative especially if you are environment conscious. Filling your walkways with sand or gravel may help prevent your walkway from icing up. Even kitty litter can be an option.
For manual de-icing, you may use a heavy duty chisel to break off the ice on your walkway. You can start by shoveling the snow off the ice chips first, then start chipping away from the outside to the center of the ice. Note that ice is thinner at the edges thus this is the way to go. This can also be used for as an exercise alternative on your behalf.
To secure preventive measures, on warm days you can monitor the waterways of your drainage pipes for you to be able to get rid of slush or snow that may block them.
Having these tips at hand will help you prepare and know the right chemicals to use in de-icing your walkway. Considerations on the possible damage it may cause should also be noted, especially if your walkway is surrounded by plots of plants you are diligently growing. Using natural de-icers may also help in fertilize your plants rather than degrading them. Being able to have options in de-icing your walkway is then important or just going out to do a de-icing exercise might do you great. Any of these options may help de-ice your walkway properly, now the choice is up to you.