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

01/13/2017 - 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 types of chemical de-icers to clear walkways and driveways. 

Salt and other chemical de-icers help make travel conditions less hazardous, but they can have an impact on local waterways, landscaping, pets and wildlife. The suggestions below will help you safely battle the icy cold this winter without harming the environment.

Tips for buying 


Traditional rock salt and some chemical de-icers can injure a pet's paws, damage cars, prematurely age cement and asphalt and pollute streams. There are some alternative de-icers that have less of an environmental impact but are just as effective at melting ice from paved walkways and driveways. 
  • 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

  • Before applying de-icer, make sure to 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 de-icer container. Using more than what is recommended will not make the ice melt faster. When snow and ice melt, the runoff picks up the excess de-icer and carries it to our streams.
  • When possible, avoid using salt and other de-icers near trees, shrubs and grasses. The salty water can severely harm or kill a home's landscaping. 
If you have questions, call SD1 at 859-578-7450. 


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