CD Designs Blog
After this winter’s dramatic freeze, the removal of ice from driveways may well have suddenly become more of a concern for you than it used to be. Ice can cause problems with your vehicle and be hazardous to your health, as anyone who slipped over Christmas will know. There are few things more frustrating than not being able to drive your car off your own drive, and few things more painfully embarrassing than losing your footing a few feet from your own front door.
There are a number of chemical products available to deal with built up ice. Rock salt, AKA sodium chloride, is the traditional remedy, combined with grit to aid traction. There are other salts which work in a similar way, and calcium chloride in particular is becoming increasingly popular for treating iced-over surfaces.
However, chemical salts can damage the surface of concrete, especially if it has only been recently laid (within the first year of installation), causing it pits and some structural deterioration. They’re also not too good for vehicles and plants that come in to contact with them. If, however, you’re set on using a chemical de-icer, and are willing to risk damaging your concrete, you should remove the resulting “slush” as soon as possible.
The traditional method, it seems, is the best: a shovel. Try and remove ice as soon as possible, and do it regularly if the cold snap continues; this will stop it building up. Also, applying some sand to your driveway before or during the freeze can help a little; it won’t get rid of the ice, but it will afford a little more grip for your shoes (and car tyres). If you’re shovelling snow off your driveway, remember not to drive the edge of the shovel into the concrete, or scrape it across the surface too aggressively, as you might end up marking the concrete.
Of course, the high-end solution to the problem of icy build-up is to install a radiant heat system underneath your driveway. However, the price may be prohibitive, especially in a country that sees as little snow and ice as we do.
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12th February 2010