Salt Alternatives Throwdown

With all the snow we have gotten recently, the first thing you probably want to do after your drive and walkways are cleared is to throw down some salt to get rid of any ice that has built up. But is salt really the best choice to use with these slick surfaces?

When you go to the hardware store to pick up something to throw down after a snowfall there are many options to pick from. There are options that claim to be safe for your plants and grass like calcium chloride or magnesium chloride, but an excess of these can still cause damage. There are also options that are safe for pets, but they are much more expensive than your common rock salt.

Kitty litter and oil dry are a couple products that can be helpful. The one downside with either of these is that they become far less effective once they have melted into the ice. Additionally, some claim that fertilizer is a good option because it would simply add more nutrients to the soil. However, like with the calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, too much of a good thing can still be damaging.

The last alternative would be to use coarse sand. Though this will not melt the ice, it can give you good traction to make slipping less likely. One key to using sand, though, is to be sure to store it in a warm place, as most sand bags will contain some level of water and could freeze together in the bag.

If you do decide to stick with salt, be cautious when putting it down so as to ensure it remains on your drive and walkway, reducing the potential damage to your lawn or plants. You could even mix salt and sand to give some traction while also helping melt ice at the same time.

As winter is rolling through, this is the perfect time to start planning for your spring lawn care and landscaping needs. We offer FREE estimates and would be delighted to help. Call us at 309.692.7400 to receive your estimate.