Get Rid of Slippery Snow and Ice
In the past, a popular way to clear snow and ice from the driveway quickly was to use rock salt or grit containing sodium chloride derived ingredients. This was because it was cheap, easy to get hold of and seemed to do an effective job. The side effects of using salt to clear driveways were, and still are, however, less than desirable. The rock salt itself is harmful to people, pets and wildlife that come into contact with it, causing several health risks if it is ingested by mouth or absorbed into the paws of beloved pets. It can also get into surrounding habitats and ecosystems, including ponds, streams and, ultimately, rivers as melted water runs off the driveway and into nearby soil and storm drains.
The good news is that there is a safer, pet-friendly snow-melt alternative out there that does an excellent job without harming the people, pets or the surrounding environment. EcoGrit is organic, made from naturally derived ingredients and is considered by many to be the best way to melt snow on driveways and paths safely and quickly over the winter months. It comes in granular form and can be mixed with water to make a spray for railings, playground equipment and padlocks etc.
Back to the question of melting snow and ice on the driveway, however, and this is a crucial job to do in winter for many reasons. It stops people from slipping over and suffering injuries such as a broken bone or sprained ankle. It makes it easier for dogs to walk on and protects concrete, tarmac and paving blocks from cracking or crumbling in more extreme temperatures.
It can also help you stay on schedule in the mornings, as your car will be easier to manoeuvre off the driveway if the surface is not slippery or hazardous. You can use EcoGrit on your car windscreen and mirrors too to prevent these from frosting up and remove the onerous job of scraping them clear before setting off to work or errands. You will also need to pay special attention to more troublesome areas such as garden steps, ramps or slopes, as these can be particularly treacherous when covered in snow or black ice and during the early mornings before daylight has fully arrived.
So what’s the problem with rock salt? Does it really cause so much of a concern? The short answer is, yes, it does. As well as the harm to people and animals who ingest or absorb it after deciding to bulk buy salt for snow, causing problems such as dehydration, vomiting, nausea and worse, it is also highly corrosive to surfaces such as concrete and tarmac, plus vehicles like cars and bicycles. The salt can get trapped on the underside of cars and other vehicles very easily, leading to rust and corrosion if left uncleared. It can also be walked into houses and commercial premises on people’s boots and shoes, damaging carpets, rugs and other types of flooring.
It should especially be avoided in areas such as children’s playgrounds or schools, where there are a lot more people moving about and a higher percentage of children, who can suffer more aggressive side effects and ingest or absorb greater quantities of rock salt, due to their propensity to touch more surfaces while they are playing and exploring outside. Many rock salt grits also contain urea derived products that also cause health issues and corrosion in larger quantities.
Opting for a safe, eco-friendly, natural snow de-icer like EcoGrit will remove many of the adverse issues associated with rock salt products. It is safe to put down on exterior surfaces and can be applied the night before, staying effective for up to seven days and down to minus 20 degrees C. Simply apply a liberal amount of granules, spreading them evenly for the best results. For trickier surfaces like railings, door handles and padlocks, you can mix two scoops of EcoGrit granules for every litre of water used to make an effective spray.
You can increase the efficacy of EcoGrit by shovelling away any excess snow before applying the product, as well as keeping an eye on the weather forecast to apply it before snowfall or frosty night to address problems before they arrive. You can also keep a container of EcoGrit with you at all times in the garage, house and car to be prepared wherever you are and whenever you need it.
A snowfall or heavy frost can play havoc with driving schedules as extra time is needed to clear windscreens, check tyres and generally make sure the car is safe to drive. Leave lots of time, not only to clear away any ice or snow but also to be able to drive more slowly than in no-snowy conditions. Drive, steer and accelerate as smoothly and calmly as possible and keep a close eye on the traffic around you and any road signs warning of trouble ahead. Never brake sharply; always do so as gently as you can, especially if you feel the vehicle starting to skid.
Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front – braking distances can increase by up to ten times during snowy conditions. If you feel unsafe to drive, do not attempt to do so and make alternative transport arrangements wherever possible. Take a fully charged mobile phone with you to call for help in an emergency and a spare coat in case you have to wait for help to arrive outside the car. Don’t forget to always have a tub of EcoGrit in the boot for use away from home. It can help stop parked cars slipping on a slope when applied around the tyres and can clear mirrors and windscreens fast to ensure that you have as full a view as possible while out on the road to keep you safe.
Snow melts when its temperature rises above zero, turning the frozen flakes back into water. There are many ways to melt snow, including applying an eco-friendly ice melt such as EcoGrit straight onto the affected surface. Please use a safe, sustainable product for this purpose, rather than rock salt or urea-derived products, which can be corrosive and cause harm to surrounding ecosystems, people and pets.
If you have time and know that temperatures will rise above zero, you can wait for nature to take its course and the snow to melt naturally. If, however, you need faster results, use a specially formulated snow and ice melt or grit to remove the ice and add some traction to the surface. Choose an organically derived, natural product such as EcoGrit to ensure environmentally friendly results.
If you have a large amount of snow on your driveway, the best way to remove it is by using a shovel and digging it out. Pile the snow up somewhere where it won’t be in the way and apply a safe ice melt product like EcoGrit to your driveway to prevent or reduce a subsequent build-up of ice and snow.
Driving in the snow is more dangerous than driving in less treacherous conditions. However, if you take extra care and leave yourself plenty of time to react to the surrounding traffic, then it is certainly doable. Don’t drive too close to the car in front of you, brake gently and always carry a container of EcoGrit with you on journeys in case you get into trouble away from home.
Salt causes a lot of problems when used to deice frozen roads and walkways. The good news is that there are plenty of alternative ways to clear slippery ice and snow. If you have time, wait for the ice to melt as the day warms up. Otherwise, use naturally derived, salt and urea-free ice melt products like EcoGrit for fast, effective results that won’t harm the environment or damage vehicles, people or pets. Avoid throwing boiling water over ice or frost, as this can crack the surface and freeze over again fast, increasing the size of the ice-covered area.
Tarmac should be laid on a dry day when temperatures are warm but not too hot so that it settles and hardens properly. Laying tarmac should be avoided during particularly cold winter months and when there is snow. If a tarmac job does need to be completed in winter, prepare the surface as much as possible, removing any ice or frost in advance. You can do this by applying a fast and effective ice melt such as EcoGrit that can be sprinkled the day before to stop ice forming overnight. EcoGrit works down to temperatures of minus 20 degrees C and is effective for up to seven days.
If you sprinkle salt on an exterior surface before the frost and snow come, this can help prevent ice from freezing and causing problems for vehicles and people alike. Some ice melts, such as EcoGrit can be put down in advance of freezing conditions arriving as it works for up to seven days, and down to temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celcius. It is a good idea to re-apply the deicer once the snow arrives, as it can get washed away with melting water.
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