Be Ready for Winter: Tips for Buying and Applying De-Icer

01/16/2019 - Snow and ice removal is an annual winter chore. As snow piles up, the first line of defense is simply to shovel paved areas to keep them clean and prevent ice from forming.

When ice does form, it is common to use salt and other chemical deicers to clear walkways and driveways. While these can make travel conditions less hazardous, they can also impact local waterways, landscaping, pets and wildlife.

Here are some tips to help you buy and safely apply de-icers this winter without harming our environment.

Tips for Buying a De-Icer

Traditional rock salt and some chemical de-icers can injure a pet’s paws, damage cars, prematurely age cement and asphalt, and pollute local streams. There are some equally effective alternatives that have less of an impact.

  • Look for alternative de-icers like calcium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate.

  • Try using de-icers that contain alternative ingredients such as beet juice.

  • Avoid using de-icers that contain urea.

Tips for Applying a De-Icer

  • Before applying, manually remove as much snow and ice as possible. De-icer works best when it is applied to thin layers of ice.

  • Follow the directions on the container. Using more than what is recommended will not make the ice melt faster, but can pollute our local streams.

  • When possible, avoid using salt and other de-icers near trees, shrubs and grasses. The salty water can severely harm or kill your home’s landscaping.

If you have questions, email

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