Caring for a Monoblock Drive This Winter

Monoblock paving is a highly versatile, attractive option for driveways, paths, parking areas and patios. Small blocks of stone or brick are placed in a beautiful pattern to offer a sturdy surface that can withstand heavy use. Different colours and shapes help create patterns and effects that can perfectly complement a house or adjacent building.

It is very important to care for a monoblock drive, especially in winter. Cracks and damage can cause water to seep under the surface. This water can then freeze and as well up in sub-zero temperatures, cracking or damaging the blocks even further. Other risks include dirt, algae and other residues creating a slip hazard. Also, any moss that grows and gets in between the blocks can cause them to lift up and move, creating a trip risk for pedestrians and a puncture risk for a vehicle’s tyres.

Your winter monoblock drive to-do list

Luckily, there is plenty that a homeowner or commercial premises manager can do to protect and care for monoblock paving this winter, both before and after the temperatures plummet below zero degrees C. Here are some areas to pay attention to this winter.

1. Stock up on ice melt

Talking of layers of frozen water, it is also wise to work out how to safely melt any ice or settled snow back into the water. This is so that it can flow away from your monoblock drive without causing any skidding hazards or harming the surrounding areas with any residues of harmful products. Using rock salt or urea-based products is not at all recommended due to the corrosive nature of the residual ingredients.

Caring for a Monoblock Drive This Winter

Not to mention the harm rock salt and urea can do to people, pets’ paws, vehicle undersides and even household carpets and floors if they have trekked inside on someone’s shoes. Choose a pet-safe de-icer, urea and salt-free ice melt product such as EcoGrit for an effective, environmentally-friendly method of clearing ice from paved drives this winter.

2. Keep it clean

Keeping a monoblock drive clean has many advantages, including aesthetics, safety and good maintenance practice. Always remove any oil or petrol spills straight away to limit the amount of damage or staining they can cause. Use a broom to clear away any ‘clean’ debris such as fallen leaves or litter. Then, use a pressure washer designed to clean paved drives for a good, deep clean.

This should be done regularly, but certainly more often in the winter when there is more chance of fallen debris from winds and when the ground is wetter, and therefore mud is more likely to be spread underfoot or via vehicle tyres. This is also important when ice or snow is expected. It will be more dangerous to have shifting debris underneath the layers of frozen water, creating an extra slipping hazard.

monoblock drive

3. Clear that moss

Moss in between the blocks can become slippery and dangerous to walk on. Left unchecked, it can also grow rapidly to take over larger drive areas. To clear it, try to work on a dry day to avoid smearing mud or wet plant matter all over the drive. Start by using a stiff-bristled broom to brush away the moss that is easy to dislodge. Then use a wire brush or wallpaper scraper and get closer to the surface to try to pick out more of the moss lurking further down in between the blocks.

Avoid rubbing too harshly, or this could damage the blocks on either side of the moss. If there is still moss remaining, consider using a pet-safe moss or weed killer product. Or use a jet pressure washer (see above) to blast any remaining roots or leaves out of the cracks.

4. Sort repairs now

Take time to inspect the paving stones, including the edges and any sections that could be more prone to damage, such as in damper areas or where vehicles are re-parked regularly. Mend any cracks as soon as possible to avoid water getting inside them and causing further damage when it freezes solid. Check all drainage is functioning correctly to prevent any leakages affecting the stonework or causing layers of dangerous frozen water to form in colder temperatures. You could consider applying a sealant to monoblock paved drives and other areas to help further protect them from the winter’s frost, ice and snow.

How to Prepare for Snow in Winter?

We need to prepare for snow in winter before it becomes dangerous. Slippery surfaces, black ice, frozen and frosty exteriors accompany the unkindness of snow more often than not. Especially if the adverse weather conditions continue over a few days or longer and settled snow can become impacted as people step on it and vehicles drive over it.

Once reaching the freezing temperature, any water on the ground will solidify and form into slippery ice. This leads to icy patches and solid snow that is difficult to remove while temperatures remain below zero degrees °C. Combined with the snow and ice, this can become highly dangerous for people, animals or vehicles that come into contact. Therefore, we need to prepare for snow in winter in advance.

Five things you need to do to prepare for snow in winter

The good news is that plenty can be done ahead of any forecasted snow to help keep the slipping and sliding down and protect surfaces. From buying plenty of environmentally-safe ice melt to taking steps to prevent ice from forming, here are five ideas to help keep you, your pets and your belongings safer in the snow.

How to Prepare for Snow in Winter?

1. Get de-icer stocks in…

Finding an effective snow melter product that removes slippery surfaces without leaving harmful residues is significant in the fight against impacted snow this winter. Choosing a product that works down to temperatures of minus 20 degrees C will ensure that any solid snow can be melted away, even in lower temperatures and during the night.

Get stocks in now, before demand rises as the snow arrives, weather conditions worsen, and other people suddenly realise they need to clear their surfaces too! An ice melt that can be put on the ground the night before is also a good choice, as it can help prevent the snow from solidifying in the first place, simply causing it to melt away harmlessly. It works via a chemical reaction that raises the temperature above the freezing point of water so that the ice and snow turn back into a liquid.

2. Find out which ones to choose

Always look for ice melt products that do not contain brown rock salt, sodium chloride ingredients or urea. All of these things are corrosive and can cause a great deal of harm to surfaces, vehicles, animal paws and people’s footwear as a result. Instead, choose a road salt that uses alternative, organically-derived ingredients to increase the temperature of water frozen on the surface to turn it back into liquid harmlessly.

A salt-free formula will mean that any residue from the product used to de-ice the road and clear the snow will not affect groundwater, ecosystems or surrounding wildlife. It will also keep pets’ paws and internal organs safe and protect people’s belongings than a more corrosive snow melting alternative that could damage.

How to Prepare for Snow in Winter?

3. People and pets preparations

Make sure that you have got plenty of warm layers to wrap up in when going outside, as well as sturdy boots or shoes with a good grip. You might also like to invest in a warm coat for your dog if you plan to walk it in the snow. Always steer clear of any areas that could have been treated with rock salt, as this can damage dogs’ paws if they walk on treated snow. Wash your boots, shoes and pets’ paws as soon as you get inside after a snow-laden walk.

Avoid going out if the weather conditions are too harsh. Examine the surfaces around your home to see whether de-icing is needed or protection with insulation while the snowy conditions are around. Repair any loose railings, fences or gates so that you can grab hold of them confidently if you feel yourself slipping on the snow.

4. Snow-proof your business

It’s not just domestic homes affected by settled snow and ice. Commercial premises must be kept clear of slippery hazards to protect staff, customers and visitors. Pay careful attention to keeping public areas such as car parks and open-air amenities free from snow. Melt ice that is clinging to railings, steps and ramps too.

commercial building in winter - Prepare for Snow in Winter

Consider whether any especially hostile winter weather conditions, such as freezing fog, high winds or very dense snow, could mean that you should close your business temporarily until the dangers pass. If you are running an animal-based business, such as a veterinary surgeon, farm or stables, think about how you clear the snow and ice carefully to prevent further damage to livestock, pets and wildlife. Choose an animal-friendly, sustainable solution with a pet-safe de-icer that does not contain any rock salt.

5. Keep your vehicles safe

Finally, keeping cars, vans, bicycles, and other vehicles safe in the snow is essential for all kinds of reasons. A slippery surface covered in snow can lead to skidding and collisions that can be costly to repair. It is necessary to have a sufficient stock of de-icing products that prevents ice from forming on the surfaces and the vehicles themselves.

Spraying an ice melt onto the windscreen can clear frost and snow quickly and safely, while door locks and mirrors can also benefit from a professional, effective de-icer on a cold, sub-zero morning. Always keep your main de-icer stocks in the garage or shed and a smaller amount in the boot for easy access on the move.

Drive Safely This Winter: The Effective Use of Ecogrit Ice Melt

Ecogrit ice melt is a safer alternative for deicing snow and ice. In winter, the frost, ice and snow can play havoc with vehicles and driving for various reasons. Motorists must ensure that their vehicles are not at risk of being damaged or compromised by built-up ice or snow on the windscreen or underneath.

In addition, they must keep an eye on the weather forecast to ensure that their winter journey will not be too dangerous if ice, snow, fog or high winds are predicted. Finally, one of the most challenging aspects of winter driving is knowing how to handle frozen surfaces and that most treacherous of all road conditions: black ice.

Be Ready for Ice and Snow This Winter

From carrying out adequate winter vehicle maintenance to ensuring you always have sufficient EcoGrit ice melt supplies in your car, here are some ideas to help keep you safe and on the move this winter.

1· Get Your Car Winter-Ready

You would never venture outside in the cold without wearing warm clothing or taking proper precautions against trickier weather conditions. Similarly, it would be best to not drive anywhere in the winter without making sure your car is prepared. Always check that your oil, coolant fluid, water and screen wash reservoirs are topped up and that you have more than enough petrol to get where you need to be.

de-Icing Snow - Ecogrit Ice Melt

Check the tyre pressures are correct for the predicted weather and temperatures, or switch to winter tyres if you are able. Ensure your wiper blades are in good condition and not too bald – replace them if necessary. Do a run-through of all your electrics, especially the lights, to ensure all is well there, too, before setting off.

2· Pack Up Properly to Prepare

Take some time to pack extra supplies in case you do run into trouble against adverse weather conditions on your journey. Always have plenty of EcoGrit ice melt spray in the boot or glove compartment, ready to clear ice from windscreens or frozen surfaces wherever you are.

Rock salt alternatives - ecogrit handheld shaker

This can also help de-ice padlocks, gates and garage door mechanisms when you reach your destination. Other items to take with you on a winter driving trip include a torch with spare batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, extra jumpers, emergency food and water and a fully charged mobile phone.

3· Forecast for the Win

Checking the weather forecast ahead of your winter journey can help you plan more effectively in Checking the weather forecast ahead of your winter journey can help you plan more effectively in advance. If possible, look a few days before to see whether any dangerous weather is predicted. It may be necessary to reschedule your journey for a different day, and the more notice to do this, the better. Nearer the time, work out where any localised bad weather spots will be, particularly fog or snow. You may be able to rework your timings to avoid the worst of it by leaving earlier or later than initially planned.

4· Safer Ice Clearance

Always clear both front and back windscreens entirely of any frost or ice. It is both unwise and illegal to clear a small hole to peer out of for fairly obvious safety reasons. Never throw boiling water over a frozen windscreen as the sudden temperature change could crack the glass. Avoid scraping it too rigorously too. Instead, use EcoGrit ice melt spray to safely and effectively clear the ice.

Drive Safely This Winter: The Effective Use of Ecogrit Ice Melt

The organically-derived, salt-free formula works down to minus 20 degrees °C and is safe for humans, pets, vehicles and the surrounding environment. Don’t forget to clear any built-up snow from the top of your vehicle as well before any winter driving. It could slide down the sides while driving and obscure your view if left up there.

5· Freeing up Frozen Surfaces

EcoGrit ice melt is highly effective for use on all sorts of frozen surfaces. The granules can be scattered on icy driveways, roads and pavements to help clear, slippery ice and frost. Always keep supplies at home ready to use on frosty mornings. The granules can also be made into a spray for use on vehicle windscreens, gate padlocks, garage doors and railings. It can save a lot of time using EcoGrit rather than waiting for the sun to warm up the frozen ground or clear an icy windscreen.

EcoGrit ice melt is safer than boiling water, which can refreeze into an even more slippery, invisible sheet of ice. Finally, EcoGrit is more environmentally-friendly to use than rock salt. This is because it contains no toxic chemicals that harm wildlife, pets and surrounding ecosystems. Using EcoGrit can also help you reduce some of the negative environmental impacts accompanying winter driving.

The Many Ways to Use Ice Melt: Grit Versus Spray

When it comes to clearing ice effectively, the best methods are usually the most versatile. Many seemingly easy tricks can end up making the situation worse, such as throwing boiling water over a surface, only to see it freeze into an even more treacherous sheet of ice a short time later. The best option by far is to use a specially formulated ice melt that contains effective ingredients to get rid of ice and snow quickly and safely.

EcoGrit is a salt-free ice melt that turns ice and snow back into water harmlessly. It won’t leave any toxic residues that can get into surrounding ecosystems and wildlife habitats either. Best of all, it can be used as grit or granules, or a liquid spray for even greater flexibility. So, which is the better approach for using ice melt? Ice melt Grit versus spray?

Ice melt Grit versus spray : when to use grit and when to use the spray?

The thing about ice and snow is that frozen water doesn’t discriminate when it comes to where it ends up after a snowfall or arrival of sub-zero temperatures. That means that some of the top tips out there, such as leaving a blanket over a car windscreen or putting sandy grit down on a driveway will not work in every single icy situation.

What happens when you need to free up an icy padlock or car lock? Or the metal railings that you rely on not to fall over while walking along the path are too frozen to grip? This is where the versatility of being able to use EcoGrit as grit or a spray becomes so important. Here are some more scenarios where being able to have a choice between ice melt grit or spray is paramount.

1· Driveways, pavements and roads: grit

Frozen surfaces like pavements, roads and driveways often require fairly rapid clearing in order to get vehicles out safely or to stop pedestrians from slipping over. Using grit can really speed up the process as it can be spread over a wider area more effectively than using a handheld spray bottle. The granules can also remain on the surface and carry on working for up to seven days. They are less likely to be washed away by any rain or run off with the melting ice or snow into the ground.

ice melt grit in pavements - Ice Melt Grit versus Spray

2· Garden paths and patios: grit

Using salt-free ice melt grit, such as EcoGrit, will prevent corrosive chemicals from the salt from getting into the garden’s delicate ecosystem, as well as into surrounding habitats and water systems. Applying salt-free grit to paths and patios will also help prevent damage to pets’ paws and the undersides of people’s boots and shoes. Use EcoGrit ice melt grit in the garden on frozen surfaces that people will walk on, as well as to cover any stone statues or other precious garden ornaments to protect them from the worst of winter’s frozen conditions.

The Many Ways to Use Ice Melt: Grit Versus Spray

3· Vehicles: spray

Cars, vans, bicycles, motorbikes etc. can all benefit from spray, whatever the areas being treated. Spraying ice melt onto a frozen windscreen will help clear the ice and frost in much less time than leaving it to melt on its own. You can also spray motorbike mirrors, car side windows, headlights, roofs, side panels, registration plates and more to clear the whole vehicle before setting off. Keep a spray bottle inside the car for easy ice clearing on the go – it is easy to use and will weigh less than a bag of ice melt grit.

4· Railings, gates and padlocks: spray

Choose a spray ice melt for more intricate jobs such as unfreezing railings, padlocks and gates. The spray will stick to non-flat surfaces far better and get to work straight away in melting the frozen water that is impeding your access to whatever is underneath. You can also keep a smaller spray bottle to hand that can be quickly grabbed when you need to sort out a railing or gate – no need to lug a heavy bag of grit from the garage or storeroom.

5· Farms, paddocks and animal businesses: spray AND grit

Finally, make sure that you use a salt-free ice melt when treating areas where animals can come into contact with it. Salt can damage paws, hooves and delicate insides. It can also cause harm when left to mix with the melted ice and run off into the groundwater and surrounding habitats.

The Many Ways to Use Ice Melt: Grit Versus Spray

Choose a salt-free ice melt such as EcoGrit for peace of mind. Here, you can also benefit from keeping stores of grit and spray ice melt in for different de-icing jobs. Spread ice melt grit over yards, paths, stables and roads and use your sprays liberally on farm equipment, safety gates fences and padlocks to keep everything working as it should over the chilly winter months.

7 Disadvantages of De-icing With Rock Salts

In times past, it was a common sight to see people using rock salt to clear frozen paths, driveways, car windscreens and more. The salt worked by raising the temperature of the frozen ice or snow so that it melted and turned back into water. But there are lots of disadvantages to de-icing with rock salts. The salt stayed in the water and ran off into nearby groundwater and ecosystems and caused several problems for the people, animals and vehicles that come into contact with it.

Disadvantages of De-icing With Rock Salts

Rock salt is a mineral formed from sodium chloride. It can pose hazards to people, pets and property due to its corrosive nature. The more rock salt that is used for winter de-icing, the more dangerous it can become. There are safer alternatives available for getting rid of frost, ice and snow, such as EcoGrit’s range of salt-free de-icers which work down to temperatures of minus 20 degrees C. Here are some more disadvantages of de-icing with rock salts on frozen wintry surfaces.

ecogrit concentrate

1. Risk of Injury or Harm to Humans

One of the major disadvantages of de-icing with rock salts is the risk of injury and harm to humans. Rock salt can damage internal organs if too much is accidentally ingested. Problems could include damage to the kidneys, respiratory system and digestive system. It can also cause redness and rashes on the skin, drooling, vomiting and stomach aches. If rock salt has entered the water supply, this can also lead to medical issues around excess consumption of salt. Consult a medical professional if you are worried about any aspect of rock salt and your health. Keep rock salt out of the way of children, especially – watch out for treated areas and avoid them when going out to play in the snow.

2. Risk of Injury or Harm to Pets

As well as risks to human health, rock salt can cause problems for animals. Pets that walk on treated areas can find salt particles trapped in their paws, which can lead to irritation, pain and rashes on the skin. Look out for cats or dogs attempting to drink out of salt-treated puddles as this can lead to vomiting, digestive issues and salt poisoning if they ingest too much.

Disadvantages of De-Icing With Rock Salts - dog licking rock ice

3. Damage to Local Wildlife and Habitats

As well as domestic animals, rock salt can harm the local wildlife. Small animals, birds, plants and fish can all be affected by rock salt entering their ecosystem and habitats. Salt that remains in melted water can get into groundwater and alter the chemistry of the soil. This can lead to plants failing to thrive and bulbs not reappearing after being dormant. Choosing a rock-salt-free to melt snow and ice can make all the difference to maintaining healthy, thriving plants and wildlife in the local area.

4. Pollution of Nearby Water Sources

Fish, frogs and other amphibious creatures can also find their ponds, rivers and lakes adversely altered by sodium chloride that has flowed into them from a patch of treated snow or ice. The salt changes the chemistry of the water. This can make it hostile to supporting life, which has effects all the way along the food chain. If rock salt enters the drinking water supply, this can also lead to problems with human health and wellbeing.

5. Damage to Vehicles and Property

Getting rid of ice on the roads is vital to enable cars and other vehicles to drive safely without slipping or skidding. However, applying rock salt to melt the ice on slippery surfaces adds dangers of a different kind. The corrosive chemical can damage the undersides of cars, vans, lorries and motorcycles, which can compromise their performance. It can also damage tyres and hurt paintwork, leading to more frequent repair and maintenance costs during the winter. This is one of the disadvantages of de-icing with rock salts that could end up costing vehicle owners a fortune.

6. Damage to Exterior Surfaces

Roads, driveways and pavements treated with rock salt can become more prone to cracks, potholes and other damage due to its corrosive nature. Water can get into the cracks, freeze over and cause even greater damage. The same goes for brickwork, walls and railings. Other places where this can be a problem include car parks, school playgrounds, outside sports grounds and farmyards. Take care to inspect exterior surfaces for damage and use a salt-free de-icer wherever possible to protect them.

potholes in the roads

7. Damage to Interior Surfaces

Although we think about outdoor surfaces needing to be de-iced in the winter, using rock salt can harm inside areas too. People can walk it in on the bottoms of their shoes, leading the salt to damage carpets, rugs and soft furnishings. It is corrosive and can cause burns and unsightly damage. If people put bags down on treated surfaces, these can become damaged too, as can the soles of shoes and boots that come into direct contact with any rock salt residue left on the ground. Clean these thoroughly after going outside.

Winter De-Icing Tips for Your Farm, Stables or Veterinary Practice

Now that winter is upon us, the adverse effects of cold temperatures and overnight frosts are not far behind. Winter brings with it higher instances of slips, trips, vehicle collisions and damage to outdoor surfaces. It can also prove more dangerous to animals, especially those that must live outside for at least part of the day, such as grazing horses or cattle. Even smaller animals, for example, those being cared for in veterinary practices over winter, and their owners, are not immune to winter-related risks.

Safe Winter De-Icing Tips

Protecting your farm, stables or veterinary practice by preparing outdoor surfaces for winter is a top priority at this time of year. Melting ice and snow that has settled and frozen can go a long way to preventing people and animals from getting injured. However, it is vitally important that the methods used don’t cause equal or worse damage. For example, using rock salt to get rid of ice can be extremely toxic to animals. The harmful chemicals that rock salt contains can be absorbed through the feet or licked off the skin, allowing it to enter the digestive system and cause harm. They can enter the soil and nearby water systems, leading to further repercussions across surrounding habitats.

Rock salt alternatives - ecogrit handheld shaker

One of the best winter de-icing tips to protect your animal-based business is to opt for a salt-free de-icer, such as EcoGrit. The salt-free de-icer is environmentally friendly, highly efficient – working down to temperatures of minus 20 degrees C – and will not damage animals’ paws, skin or internal systems. If EcoGrit is accidentally ingested, it will not harm the animal’s internal systems but will work itself out harmlessly. EcoGrit can be sprinkled the night before an expected frost and can work for up to seven days. The formula also does not contain any urea, which can also be toxic to animals if ingested.

Other Ways to Winterproof Your Premises Safely

There are many other ways to protect a farm, stables or veterinary practice in winter. Here are some ideas to help safeguard the animals cared for there, as well as those who work at or visit these places over the winter:

  • Ensure that you have a warm water supply. This is vital for providing clean drinking water for the animals, as well as for washing equipment and keeping the area clean. While EcoGrit should not be applied directly to the water, the salt-free de-icer can be sprinkled around any water containers kept outside to help keep the outsides from frosting over. Or wrap some insulating material around it to keep temperatures above zero.
Winter De-Icing Tips for Your Farm, Stables or Veterinary Practice
Young sheep standing together in snow-covered farmland
  • Dry shelter is vital for any animals that have access to the outside during winter. Having a warm, safe place to retreat to is important for ongoing health and wellbeing. Prolonged exposure to wet and damp conditions can lead to a myriad of illnesses and unwanted conditions.
  • Keep paths and walkways clear from obstacles and tripping hazards. Where possible, install hand rails for additional support when it is harder to walk, such as where the ground is frosty. Apply EcoGrit to keep any settled snow and ice to a minimum.
  • Stay alert during the night. Farm animals can be fed at night to help keep them well fueled. The physical activity around eating, ruminating and digesting can also help keep their bodies warmer for longer. Watch out for animals taking ill in the small hours and make sure any caged animals have enough bedding, straw or hay to tuck themselves up in, out of the cold.
Winter De-Icing Tips for Your Farm, Stables or Veterinary Practice
beautiful brown horses walking in snow
  • Ensuring regular exercise is also key to help keep animals warm. If an animal is recovering from an operation, monitor them until they are ready to start moving and then encourage gentle exercise by providing them with a run or taking them outside when the weather is less cold, under supervision.
  • Go for animal-friendly winter care products, including using EcoGrit urea-free and salt-free de-icer when preparing outdoor surfaces for winter where animals are regularly walking or living nearby.
  • Keep outdoor areas well-lit to avoid people falling or slipping on unseen ice. The frequency of slips and trips rises dramatically in winter months, as people attempt to navigate slippery areas without additional support.

EcoGrit and the Environment: Embracing Sustainable De-icing

At the recent COP26 climate change summit, held in Glasgow, world leaders made promises and agreed on deadlines for their countries to become carbon-neutral. These laudable aims come with huge commitments to change long-established manufacturing processes and lifestyle habits. The world will watch with interest as they work to achieve all that they set out to do in Scotland this November. Embracing sustainable de-icing is one of the ways of the efforts towards environmental preservation.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a President or Prime Minister to make a positive impact on the world around you. Making small changes to place sustainability first can also help protect our planet’s future. EcoGrit is an organically derived ice melt that produces excellent results down to minus 20 degrees C.

Sustainable De-Icing

The product also provides sustainable de-icing, a safer alternative to using rock salt to clear snow and ice. It has been carefully formulated to achieve the same, if not superior, ice melting results than rock salt without leaving harmful residue, blocking drains or inexorably altering the delicate ecosystems around it.

Why EcoGrit Can Help With Sustainable De-icing

EcoGrit is an environmentally-friendly and sustainable de-icer that is organically derived. It does not contain harmful ingredients such as rock salt or urea, which are toxic to surrounding habitats and wildlife. The granules can be sprinkled before a frost arrives and work for up to seven days afterwards. They are non-corrosive, so they will not harm people or animals nor require harsh cleaning afterwards. Here are four more reasons why EcoGrit can help you and your business operate more sustainably this winter:

1· Rock Salt-Free

Rock salt, or sodium chloride, has long been the method of choice for melting unwanted ice and snow. The chemical makeup of the salt lowers the temperature of the ice, causing it to melt back into water. However, the salt has to go somewhere, and this ends up being the surrounding soil systems, water sources and groundwater. Many areas are reporting salinity levels being affected in lakes, rivers and streams, which leads to problems for both resident wildlife and human consumption.

alternative to rock salt - ecogrit

Hence, it is not an environmentally friendly and sustainable de-icing technique. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove salt once it has got into the soil or water sources. Equally, too much chloride entering water can be fatal for fish and other aquatic life. Finally, rock salt can stunt plant growth, causing delayed budding, brown leaves and scorching. These effects will be felt all the way through the food chain.

2· Urea-free

Urea is another harmful ingredient that can be found in de-icers – although not in EcoGrit! It is also commonly found in fertilisers. Right from its initial production and processing, urea can cause problems. For example, urea plants can leak poisonous gases, such as ammonia. These can then enter water supplies and pollute the air. Urea itself also damages soil ecosystems, groundwater and surrounding habitats. If animals ingest it, it can harm their internal systems. It can be absorbed by their feet and paws and carried a long way away from the original de-icing area. Eliminating urea from the process enables a more sustainable de-icing solution.

EcoGrit and the Environment: Embracing Sustainable De-icing

3· Simply Melts Away

The crystals contained within EcoGrit have been carefully designed to melt away, leaving minimal residue for a more sustainable de-icing process. They will not block drainage systems like sand or grit can do. This means that water and drains can flow more easily, which helps reduce the environmental impact caused by overflowing sewage or dirty water. EcoGrit also works for up to seven days, reducing the number of applications you need. It is also non-corrosive to surfaces, walls and vehicles. This keeps assets in good condition for longer so that the environmental impact of repairs and replacements can also be minimised.

4· Sustainable Packaging

There is a growing emphasis on packaging products sustainably right now, which helps to reduce single-use plastic. EcoGrit Concentrate is a granular product that is soluble in water. This cuts down on packaging required as the granules take up less space than pre-dissolved liquid ice melt alternatives for sustainable de-icing.

EcoGrit and the Environment: Embracing Sustainable De-icing

Also, EcoGrit is also available wholesale, which cuts down on packaging even more. The product is available in half-tonne and one-tonne bags for wholesale customers’ long-term storage without the additional plastics needed to keep lots of smaller quantities on hand. Orders are sent directly to the department responsible for business maintenance which reduces driving miles too.

Planning Exciting Outdoor Winter Events? Ice Melting Tips and Other Things to Conside.

If you are planning one or more outdoor winter events over the next few months, there are several things that you will need to think about to ensure everything goes smoothly. There are lots of outdoor activities that we can do in winter. Whether it is a fireworks display, Christmas al fresco concert, outside wedding reception or family get-together, planning and preparation are key. Braving the cold weather and heading outdoors for your seasonal shindig can reap many rewards. So, to help with the planning, here are some seasonal safety thoughts, ice melting tips and more.

Looking for Outdoor Winter Events Ice Melting Tips?

The very first thing to think about when planning outdoor winter events is the safety of your guests. Temperatures tend to plummet and rain and snow arrive in abundance as we head into December and January. This can result in frozen surfaces, snowy pathways and ice patches underfoot.

Stock up well in advance on a good salt-free deicer for the outer surfaces. This will enable you to treat surfaces the day before and to reapply as required to melt ice and make your outdoor venue safer for everyone.

outdoors winter events - Bucket Pallets

Choose an ice melt that won’t harm wildlife, pets, people’s shoes or vehicles. In other words, one that doesn’t contain rock salt or urea. This means that any melted water can run off safely into the ground and away from paths and walkways. Thus, removing dangerously slippery ice safely and sustainably.

More Top Tips for Outdoor Winter Events Planning

Lighting

Winter days start to get dark from around 4 pm, so if your outdoor winter events start or continue later than that, think about how you are going to light it. Decent lighting not only allows guests to see each other and follow what’s happening, but it also keeps people safe arriving and leaving the premises. Have lighting guiding people in form car parking areas or surrounding roads. Add lights to tables and hang them above the main event area. Lights can add enormous amounts of atmosphere and ambience to outdoor winter events.

Planning Exciting Outdoor Winter Events? Ice Melting Tips and Other Things to Conside.

Seating

Lay on adequate seating for people to rest and relax when they are not walking, dancing or mingling. If you are planning entertainment, make sure your seats are positioned so that people can watch it without having to move around too much. Place seats under cover in case it rains if possible and have waterproof cushions or covers in case of rain. Have an indoor space with seating too, so that people can move and get warm if they find the outdoor temperatures too cold.

Transport to and From the Venue

This point will depend entirely on where your outdoor winter events are taking place. When you invite people, include details of how to get to and from the venue. So, this could be driving directions, taxi company details or details of public transport so that the winter road trip becomes easier. If you know that the ground is going to be icy, sprinkle some plant-friendly salt-free deicer in advance to help melt the ice and make the ground safer to walk, drive or ride on. Know where people can park their cars safely and avoid causing disturbance to any neighbours with messy or inconvenient parking. You can also spray eco-friendly deicer on the car park.

Planning Exciting Outdoor Winter Events? Ice Melting Tips and Other Things to Conside.

Food and Drink

Outdoor winter events usually call for warming, comforting food and drink. So, switch out the salads and fruity cocktails for warm soups, hot chocolate and spicy punch or mulled wine. Give people somewhere to put used plates and cups and keep the food and drink coming to ensure a jovial, satisfied group of guests. If you are holding a Christmas event, theme the food accordingly with turkey rolls and hot mince pies. Or serve jacket potatoes, hot dogs and toffee apples to accompany bonfire night fireworks.

Last-Minute Changes

Outdoor winter events can be more prone to being cancelled, postponed or changed. Sometimes, the weather is too bad to continue with the event as planned. Think about how you could move things indoors. Make sure you can house all your guests indoors if things do take a turn for the worse outside and have back-up entertainment and seating on hand. Or you could try and ‘tough it out’ outdoors by having plenty of waterproof coverings, hats, scarves and spare coats standing by. Try to be as flexible as possible and always have a Plan B.

6 Deicing Tips to Prepare Outdoor Surfaces for Winter

The nights are drawing in and there is a distinct chill in the air. All the leaves are brown, as the song goes… It’s definitely time to start thinking about getting ready for winter. One key area to prepare for is taking measures to stay safe when the frost, ice and snow hits and get some deicing tips to make outdoor areas non-slippery and easy to navigate. Now is the perfect time to replenish stocks of a salt-free deicer. So, you can have it at hand exactly when you need it as temperatures fall and the rain or snow arrives.

Deicing Tips for Exterior Surfaces

As well as getting prepared with ice melts and deicing products, October and November are the best months for checking, repairing and preparing outdoor surfaces. Early attention to this will ensure they can handle the icy onslaughts and not get damaged beyond repair. Different surfaces require different approaches. Here are six common surfaces and some appropriate deicing tips to treat them.

ecogrit concentrate- deicing tips

1. Concrete

Concrete is porous, which means that it can allow moisture to seep inside. Excess rainwater, melting ice, frost and snow can all get inside concrete and cause problems. The water expands and contracts as the temperature rises and falls, causing cracks and spalling to the concrete surface. Use a good quality sealant to fill in any cracks, or have them professionally repaired before the sub-zero temperatures arrive. One of the deicing tips is making use of salt-free deicer on icy surfaces to clear them safely and without causing harm to people, pets or vehicles. Do not use rock salt as it can harm pets and concrete.

2. Asphalt

Asphalt can also be damaged by cold weather, ice and frost. Problems include cracks that allow moisture in, as well as erosion caused by laying snow and ice. Check and repair any existing cracks in asphalt surfaces – even smaller ones. Deicing tips for asphalt is applying a layer of sealant to concrete and asphalt, to help waterproof and prepare outdoor surfaces for winter. You can make use of a salt-free deicer to protect surfaces from compacted ice and snow.

3. Brickwork

Prolonged rainfall or snow can damage both bricks and the mortar in between them. This damage can appear in the form of cracks, chips or erosion. If water gets inside and then freezes, this can cause bigger concerns and even threaten the integrity of a wall or paved driveway. Get any crumbling, cracked or missing mortar replaced as soon as possible. Check out the bricks or paving stones too for signs of cracks or damage. Do this now, before icy surfaces make it harder to see what’s happening.

road- deicing tips

4. Metal Railings and Gates

Sturdy metal railings and gates could quite literally be a lifesaver this winter. They give people something to grab hold of to stop them from sliding around and having a nasty fall. So, it is important to ensure they are protected ahead of time. Check them carefully for signs of rust or damage. Catching these sorts of issues early will help save time and money later on. Consider applying a protective layer of frost-resistant wax or buying a weatherproof cover for especially cold nights. If you know there is going to be frost at night, mix up some deicer into a spray bottle and apply it liberally before you go to bed.

5. Garden and Grass

Water from melting ice can generally seep away into grass and soil without causing too many problems. However, make sure that any deicing products do not contain rock salt, urea or anything else that could harm the ecosystem. This is because the pollutants can damage wildlife, plants, pets and people.

garden -deicing tips

Salt grains from treated grass can be walked indoors too, which can ruin carpets and rugs. Bring any delicate plants under cover if you intend them to survive the winter and consider adding a thick layer of mulch to your borders. This will act as insulation against the cold for the delicate bulbs and roots underneath the surface.

6. School Sports Surfaces and Playgrounds

Before schools break up for the Christmas holidays, plan and schedule maintenance work that needs to be done to playgrounds, sports pitches, climbing frames and other exterior surfaces. That way, work can begin as soon as the children start their winter break. Mend any damage, repaint faded lines and ensure that you have plenty of salt-free deicer in stock. These maintenance and deicing tips will help keep everyone safe from slipping on the ice when they come back to school in January 2022.

Planning a Winter Road Trip? Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe

After the year we have all had, it is tempting to look ahead to a winter getaway to refresh the soul. Many of our summer holiday plans have been limited or affected by the pandemic and quarantine requirements. So, as we head towards winter weather, now could be the perfect time to plan an exciting – or relaxing – winter road trip.

Planning a Winter Road Trip? Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe

However, travelling in the colder months brings its own challenges. While you discuss possible destinations and consult diaries, don’t forget to check out our safer winter driving tips at the same time.

Plan Ahead

Take time to work out your driving route and the types of roads and surfaces you will encounter. Plan how long each stage of your winter road trip will take. This will give you a better idea about the time you need to allocate to reaching your destination(s) so you don’t have to drive too fast. You will also get chance yo know about the road closure if exists in any place.

Planning a Winter Road Trip? Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe

Book your car in with your garage for a check-up before you leave. Leave enough time to sort out any issues that may arise. You may need to change your tyres for something more suitable for winter driving conditions – the AA recommends at least 3mm of tread. Check fuel levels too. You might even like to research where you will be able to refuel on route for full peace of mind. Pack comfortable clothes and shoes to drive in. If your car is automatic, see if it comes with a winter road trip

Get Your Car Winter Ready

This is one of the most important winter driving tips to follow. After your car has had its professional winter check-up, do your own assessment at home. Clean all windows and mirrors to give maximum visibility. Double check tyre pressures and oil and water/windscreen washer levels. Top up your antifreeze to protect your engine from freezing and cracking in very severe conditions.

Make sure your lights all work and that windscreen wipers are in decent condition too. The lights will make you more visible to other road users in dull conditions. Your wipers are essential to help clear frost, condensation and winter mist

tyres been changed due to pothole.

Pack some useful winter emergency kit in case of an emergency. It is a good idea to carry a first aid kit, blankets and a torch with spare batteries for winter road trip. Other things that could be useful to put in the car in the winter include:

  • Fully charged mobile phone and in-car charger
  • Snow shovel or brush
  • Tow rope
  • Jumper cables to restart battery
  • Gloves, winter clothing and hi-vis jackets
  • Sunglasses – to reduce glare of frost and snow while driving
  • Emergency flare or reflector or a warning triangle
  • Extra water and windscreen washer fluid
  • Non-perishable snacks and drinking water

Always Carry Car Deicer

Top of the list of supplies to keep in the car during a winter road trip is deicer or ice melt. This can clear windscreens from ice and frost quickly, preventing delays in setting off. It can also clear mirrors and unstick frozen door locks. You can use it on surfaces too, to help prevent your car from slipping too much. EcoGrit ice melt can be applied to surfaces before frost arrives and works down to temperatures of minus 20 degrees C.

ECOGrit Concentrate buckets of Ice melts

Choose a car deicer that does not contain any rock salt, such as EcoGrit. Not only is this because it is better for the environment, but it also reduces the risk of causing damage to your car.Rock salt is corrosive and can harm the undersides of cars and it is a bad idea to use for the road network. . It can also damage carpets and upholstery if the driver or passengers bring it inside

Winter Road Trip

Driving on winter roads is not the same as in other seasons and the risks can be far higher due to bad weather. Always go slowly to give yourself and other people more time to react. Look ahead for potential hazards. Apply brakes gently and leave longer stopping distances to account for slippery road surfaces. Always clear snow from the roof and windows before setting off. If you leave any behind, it could slip down while you are driving and obscure your view.

Other key tips in winter road trip include keeping to a constant speed as you drive and leaving plenty of room between you and the car in front. This is especially crucial when going uphill. If you have to stop halfway up a hill, it can be very hard to change gear or move off again without slipping if the surface is frosty. Similarly, use a low gear to go downhill and try not to brake too much.

If You Run Into Problems

Try not to panic if you skid on black ice in winter road trip. The calmer you are, the more likely it will be that you will be able to bring the car under control. Always steer gently into the direction that you feel your car sliding in. Trying to correct it too aggressively, could cause the wheels to lock. Use your gears to slow down instead of the brakes for the same reason. Never take your hands off the steering wheel.

winter road trip - road with vechicle

Roads in winter road trip is covered with  ice and snow. If you get stuck in an ice scraper or snow on the road in cold weather conditions , put some old sacking or a rug in front of the driving wheels to help the tyres regain some grip. Straighten the steering wheel and clear the snow and ice from around the tyres. Use ice melt to help speed up the process. Drive very slowly when attempting to free yourself so you don’t strain your car’s engine.

More advice and winter driving tips can be found on the RAC website.