Each year, the arrival of winter in New Jersey is greeted by sighs of frustration from homeowners all across the region. It signals that the time when you will have to deice your driveway is near, one of the most dreaded tasks for anyone. In order to ease the pain a little bit, there are several methods you can choose to assist you in your quest to make the driveway safe for you and your family throughout the season. No one option is flawless, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each and determine what makes the most sense for your home and budget.
Rock salt (also known as sodium chloride) is one of the most traditional deicing materials available. It has the benefit of being inexpensive and widely accessible, but a buildup of salt over time can damage lawns, concrete, and the environment. Salt can also be dangerous and unhealthy if you have pets around, and it is only effective to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another chemical deicing option, calcium chloride is less toxic than rock salt and will dissolve ice at temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, tt can still negatively impacts the environment in large quantities, and it carries the same danger to pets and plants as most traditional, chemically-based deicers.
Pet and Environmentally Friendly Alternative Chemicals
Environmental concerns are big business right now, and some companies have responded to this demand by manufacturing chemical deicers that are safe for pets and won’t hurt the environment. Most of these alternatives are chloride free, meaning that they usually aren’t quite as effective as traditional deicers, and you’ll likely be paying more for them.
An unconventional solution, heat mats are installed underneath the ground to to melt the ice from below. Unless you are building a new house or live in a climate with extremely long and harsh winters, this is probably cost-prohibitive for most.
Sand has the advantage of also being cheap, but it doesn’t actually dissolve ice. It can be helpful for creating traction on slippery areas, but excessive amounts of sand can create a mess when the Spring thaw finally arrives.
Anti-Icers are similar in composition to chemical deicers, only they are applied to the driveway before the snow comes. They are usually available as a liquified salt solution.
With frequent and dedicated snow shoveling, you can prevent the buildup of ice before it even begins without spending a lot of money or harming the environment or pets. If you have ever shoveled before, however, then you know the downside. Look for companies selling ergonomic shovels that will ease the strain on your back.
If you’re in need of commercial snow removal, we offer a variety of services for properties such as school districts, commercial buildings, shopping centers, and more. Simply call 1-800-WET-LAWN or visit www.WETLAWN.com to inquire about professional snow removal options.