Have you ever used salt based ice removal products and when spring arrived noticed that your sidewalk was chipping and crumbling or your lawn was damaged? Salt is a very effective ice buster but it and some other ice removal products can literally eat your sidewalk and kill your grass.
When rock salt melts, it releases chloride which can damage concrete and metal. It can also damage fabric so if you track it into your vehicle it can eat the carpets and cause the floorboards to rust. Runoff from salted roads and sidewalks can also get into the groundwater, streams, and lakes.
If you want to keep your sidewalk and driveway safe and green, here are a few alternatives to rock salt.
- Urea – this natural fertilizer is less corrosive than salt and is gentler on your pets’ tender paws. It has high levels of nitrogen and comes in liquid form. If over used it will damage lawns and plants and could runoff into lakes, ponds, and rivers and cause algae blooms.
- Alfalfa Meal – contains nitrogen and is primarily used as a fertilizer but it’s less harmful to water supplies if used in moderation. It’s dry and grainy and when it’s scattered on sidewalks and driveways it provides welcome traction while it’s melting the ice.
- Sugar Beet Juice – if you grow beets, you have a ready-made supply of ice remover. Beet juice can be used on its own or mixed with salt solutions to dilute them. Beet juice lowers the freezing point of water and is completely harmless to people and animals.
- Birdseed – while birdseed won’t melt ice, it provides traction and a meal for wild birds when they need it most.
- Kitty Litter – scatter clay based, non-clumping litter, or litter made from recycled paper or corn fibers on sidewalks and driveways to provide traction.
The best way to control ice on sidewalks and driveways is to remove snow as soon as it falls. Now that gardening season over, 5 Star Landscaping can provide you with full snow and ice removal services.