Are you getting ready to host family or friends for the holidays? Have you ever seen your life flash before your eyes when your feet slip out from under you on an icy, winter day? Before you or anyone else seriously hurts themselves, let’s avoid some slips!
Luckily, there a few ways to prevent some less than comfy falls from your icy sidewalk or driveway this winter. Plus, following these tips can help you avoid a potential liability claim, if a guest experiences a hard fall.
Rock salt, or sodium chloride, is commonly used to melt ice and prevent new ice from building up. It is very inexpensive and extremely easy to use. Many homeowners sprinkle this rock salt on their driveway or sidewalk and even their porch steps to avoid a nasty slip.
However, this material is also harmful to the environment and animals. Sometimes salt chloride can cause irritated paws and dehydration for your fury friends. Salt runoff can potentially pollute local waterways. And, it can damage your shrubs and plants that line your driveway.
Although it works like a charm, before grabbing a large bag of rock salt, consider the consequences. Here are a few alternatives:
Sprinkling sand on top of ice or snow is a common practice to add traction and prevent slipping. Unlike rock salt, sand does not melt ice and snow. Meaning, it has to be reapplied frequently in order for it to be effective.
Using sand on your driveway and sidewalk is definitely safer for animals and the environment. However, it also requires more clean up. Sand does not dissolve; it leaves a residue, and after the snow and ice melts needs to be swept up.
Keeping your driveway and walkway shovelled is an important step. Snow becomes ice overnight. You need to shovel as soon as possible after a snowfall. Purchasing a good shovel and using it properly can make clearing the snow easier and prevent any injuries. Check out these shovelling tips: https://www.thespruce.com/snow-shoveling-tips-2132769
Because we live in Canada, where the winters are full of ice and snow, make sure to de-ice your driveway and sidewalk. Make sure to take the precautions to avoid getting hurt or prevent a guest from getting hurt. Also, check with your home insurance to see if you have proper coverage in the event of an ice caused accident.
As a homeowner you are obligated to keep your premises safe and clear away your snow and ice. Keep your sidewalks slip-free this winter!