Easy Way to Melt Snow and Ice Without Destroying the Walkway From Salt
The walkways in your home are very important because they add value and usability allowing you to enjoy your compound maximally. During winter, the walkways are victims of the falling snow and ice. Many people use salt to melt this ice when the temperatures are low. Though this works, it may have a negative impact in the long run by damaging the walkways and reducing their lifespan.
Salt can cause damage to walkways made of concrete, brick or even stone in the following ways:
Salt causes damage to the inner structure as well as the surface of concrete pavements. Since salt has some acidity, it lowers the PH level of concrete thus increasing the size of pores on the surface. With enlarged pores, water sips in damaging the inner concrete. Eventually the surface weakens and develops cracks. Also the low PH of salt causes corrosion on reinforcement metals used in the walkway.
Salt is also hygroscopic. Once on the surface, it attracts and absorbs water thus raising the water retention in the concrete pores by a great percentage. With increased water retention, the surface will soon start deteriorating.
Salt enters the pores of stone and then draw water in. The trapped in water then causes the stone to crack as it freezes and expands. Frost can also damage wet stones especially when the temperatures are low.
If your walkway is made of bricks, salt may damage it too. Salt leaves crystalline deposits on bricks causing them to discolor. The bricks will appear old and worn out, and this will destroy the aesthetics of your home.
HOW TO CLEAR ICE/SNOW WITHOUT USING SALT
Snow and ice on walkways have to be dealt with in a way that does not cause deterioration and environmental pollution. And you can’t leave the snow on the surface because it may cause accidents and interfere with the use of the path.
One of the best solutions to use on walkways is snow melting mats. Snow melting mats are made using slip resistant rubber and a heating element. The mats melt the ice and prevent run off from refreezing. You can remove the mats once the winter season is over.
Some other options you can consider include:
- Plant some salt resistant plants along the walkway. This will eliminate the concern of salt damage but it may make it difficult to shovel.
- Use of snow melting systems. These systems will allow you to keep ice and snow off the path without having to do a lot of work or cause damage to the environment. Once you get your budget in order and install the end result is totally worth the cost.
- Use loose gravel
In conclusion, to preserve your walkway, it is important to avoid salt and use other alternatives. This will keep the walkways safe and protect them from damage, ensuring that they last for the intended period.