Goodmanson Construction provides DIY Snow & Ice Protection for you to try today on all of your outdoor concrete and asphalt surfaces.
This isn’t the first time we’ve written about snow and ice removal for your driveway or patio. But don’t you think it’s time to hear it again? Everyone could use a refresher every now and again!
Weather conditions are right for it. Winter storms are on the way and you’ve probably got your warm clothes, taken care to get non perishable food. But don’t forget: protecting your property is a good way for how to prepare for a blizzard or any other kind of snow event.
And we’re going to make it even easier than we did last year.
Did you know that protecting your concrete or asphalt surfaces from snow and ice is as easy as four simple steps?
Rule #1 – Start With A Fresh Surface
Before the snow falls, remove any leaves, twigs, or other debris from your concrete or asphalt surfaces. You want to start with a fresh surface because when you’re running over it with your snow plow, snow blower or snow shovel, a smooth surface ensures that you’re removing the maximum amount of snow possible.
Most importantly: STAY ON TOP OF YOUR SNOW REMOVAL.
Where do you think most ice comes from? From that melting snow you said you were going to get to last night but left until the next morning. You’ve got to stay on top of it, because snow melts, turns to ice, and then you’ve got an even bigger problem on your hands. I know it’s a pain. I know it’s not fun (OK, sometimes it can be kind of fun) but you’ve got to get out there and get that snow out of there.
It’s a pretty good workout too, so if you want to skip the gym or your morning run that day, I think you can more that certainly excuse yourself. A good round of snow shoveling (even snow blowing) can get the blood pumping like running a 5K!
Rule #2 – Remove or Provide Traction for the Ice
Keep ice off your surfaces by using granite chips or kitty litter. Neither of these will melt snow and ice, sorry to say, but it will help increase traction.
If you choose to use deicers, make sure to remove ice, snow, and any residue from the deicing mixture promptly. Any leftover deicer on your concrete or asphalt can lead to damage.
Rule #3 – No Salt!
This rule is as critical as it is hard for people to accept. So we’re going to go in depth here to explain why we do this.
Whatever you do, do not use salt to remove ice or snow.
Salt melts ice by lowering the freezing temperature of water. So the water stays liquid for longer, and it flows away from your (hopefully) properly graded concrete surfaces) and off to the storm sewers. There are two main kinds of salt people use for ice removal: Calcium Chloride and Sodium Chloride. Sodium Chloride (in the form of rock salt) is the kind most commonly used, with Calcium Chloride being more of a “nuclear option.”
These salts are harmless in and of themselves. Heck, we even use one of them in our food every day. But salt on a concrete driveway can lead to problems, especially when used in excess. But how to protect a concrete driveway even if you’re using salt? Use very little and be sure none is left sitting on the concrete after the ice and snow melts away. If there are any grains left on the surface, you over-salted!
That remaining salt is going to eat away at the concrete surface. Any kind of concrete sealer that you used is going to get put to the test (and likely fail) against the salt you put down. Which means next summer you’re going to be sealing concrete all over again. Not fun, and a lot more expensive (especially if you want a good penetrating sealer) than just avoiding salt altogether.
It’s very easy to over-salt your surface. Which is one of the reasons we say you should avoid it altogether.
Rule #4 – Stick to Plastic or Rubber
When choosing shovels, snow plows or snow blowers, stay away from those with metal blades, as they can chip and harm your surface. Instead use rubber snow blower blades or plastic shovels to remove any snow from your concrete or asphalt. Metal, while it sure does a number on the ice, can also do a number on your concrete surface as well.