Tips for Keeping Your Driveway Clear
Thursday, December 20, 2018 | by Scott Bennett
You never know what weather you are going to get in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the winter. Some winters are warm and dry. In 2017, we really didn’t get significant snow until almost spring. Other winters, it seems like the driveway is constantly filling up with snow. Is there a trick to keeping your driveway free of ice and snow? Is it just a matter of shoveling? Is there any way to make this task easier? Here are some tips for making this necessary chore a little bit better.
1. Before it snows, put away summer tools and remove sticks and rocks off your driveway, walkway, or any area that you plan of clearing of snow. All of these items, if left, can make snow removal more difficult and can slow it down. None of us want to be out shoveling longer than we need to. In addition, tools or summer toys can easily be lost or damaged when covered with snow. A little preparation for a snowfall can go a long way.
2. Put a chemical deicer on your driveway and walkways, before it snows. Even if you shovel your driveway after a snowfall, a thin layer of snow or ice can remain, making driveways and walkways dangerous. When you use a deicer, you start the melting process when the first snowflakes hit the ground. Avoid using rock salt if you can. It may be cheaper than other deicers, but it is bad for your landscape and other plants. It’s not good for cement, either. Any other chemicals used to de-ice are better for the environment than rock salt (sodium chloride).
3. Read deicer package instructions carefully. Only put down the manufacturer’s recommended amount. A lot of people ask, is deicer bad for my lawn? This is a fair question.You don’t want it tracked in your house and more deicer doesn’t mean more melting. Some people hesitate to use deicers at all. They worry that deicers will harm their driveways. If you are worried about your driveway, the best thing you can do is get your driveway sealed. What damages driveways the most is when water gets down in small cracks and then freezes. Sealing your driveway, of course, would need to be done long before the snow flies. Deicers make pathways much less slippery for people.
4. Snow blowers are a great option for clearing your driveways and pathways in record time. They are also great if you have back problems that would make shoveling difficult. Just make sure your snow blower has plastic, not metal blades on it. Metal blades can scratch or rut your driveway.
5. If you don’t like shoveling, look for creative ways to remove snow. For example, if you know a snow is expected, you could lay a tarp down in your driveway. You may want to secure it with some bricks or stones around the edges. After the snow has fallen, simply drag the tarp onto your grass or where you plan to pile snow. Viola! No shoveling and a large portion of the driveway is clear.