A FEW STEPS TO BETTER WINTER TRACTION
Monday Dec 19th, 2022
A Few Steps to Better Winter Traction
Winter means icy days with slippery walkways and driveways. Different deicers have different working temperatures and some damage concrete, pavement, and other surfaces. Use the correct ice melter for the temperature and the surface.
• Salt is an option as an ice melter. At a temperature of -1C (30F) one pound of salt (sodium chloride) will melt about 46 pounds of ice. But, as the temperature drops, salt's effectiveness slows. When the temps get down to -12C (10F) and below, salt barely works.
• Calcium Chloride melts ice to -29 C (-20 F) and it melts ice faster than rock salt. When mixed, calcium chloride increases salt’s effectiveness, so fewer applications are necessary during storms. Plus, calcium chloride has less negative impact on the environment. The downside is that calcium chloride ice melter costs more than salt.
• Magnesium, especially magnesium chloride, can damage concrete surfaces.
• Calcium Magnesium Acetate is more environmentally friendly and less corrosive than chloride products, but also doesn’t work at colder temperatures.
• EcoTraction is not an ice melter, but it does offer a better grip. It’s made from a hydrothermal volcanic mineral that embeds itself into ice and snow for long-lasting traction. It also minimizes property damage as it doesn’t corrode, rust or stain like salt and ice melters. It is also completely safe for wood, metal, uncured concrete, brick or stone. And once the season is over, just sweep it onto the lawn… it claims to be good for the grass too!
There are other ways to reduce the danger of slipping and falling on icy steps or slick walkways.
Roll out a No-Slip Ice Carpet. It’s a natural fiber outdoor runner that’s treated with rubber to provide “grip” even over ice and snow. Find this quick-fix by searching "Ice Carpet" on www.amazon.ca
Looking for a longer-term solution? HeatTrak's Snow-Melting Mats and “Powerblankets” prevent snow and ice accumulation on walkways and stairs. Made of thermoplastic material with heating coils, the mats plug-in to a standard electrical outlet and are designed to be left outside all winter long! Check out www.heattrak.com