9 Secrets for Removing Snow and Ice from Your Driveway
Wintertime—it’s a great time to stay cozy indoors. Yet, you need to go to work or shuttle the kids around with sports and school activities but, many people do not know how to remove snow and ice from their driveway. The last storm left a couple of inches on your driveway. And there’s ice underneath all of that snow.how to remove snow and ice from driveway
You know that an icy driveway presents a problem for the kids coming home from school. They need to walk up the driveway to get into the house. Plus, you need to drive down that ice rink to go to work.
So, what you do to remove snow and ice from your driveway?
This article has nine secrets for cleaning off your driveway that’s covered in ice and snow.
Prepare for Winter Ahead of Time
Granted, prepping your driveway for winter doesn’t solve the immediate problem of removing the current layer of snow and ice. But here’s some vital information to store away for next spring.
If your driveway has cracks or holes in it, then you need to get them resealed before it snows. Why?
Because during a freeze-thaw period, snow will melt, and water will drain into those cracks. Then when it gets cold again, the water expands as it freezes causing the cracks to get bigger in your driveway.
You also should take note of any drainage problems that occur at the bottom of your driveway. During the spring, summer or fall, hire a contractor to fix your drainage problems so you don’t have an icy pond at the bottom of your driveway.
You may need to redirect storm water to another area on your property or repair any drainage problems in your yard. Then, water can be redirected to a drain to move it off your driveway.
Learn more: In case you get a dethatcher for Christmas, here’s what you need to know.
9 Secrets for Removing Snow and Ice Off of Your Driveway
While you can’t prevent snow from piling up on your driveway during a snowstorm, you can get out there to remove it during the storm or after the last flake swirls onto your property.
If you have a sheet of ice underneath all of that snow, you first have to move the snow to get to the ice.
If you have a long driveway, it’s probably better to buy or rent a snowplow that you can hook up to your truck or hire someone to plow your driveway for you.
However, if you have an average driveway, you need to get out there with a shovel and deicer to remove it. Here are nine steps for removing snow and ice off your driveway:
1. Shovel the snow: You need to shovel or use a snow blower to move the fresh snow off the ice before applying any deicer to it.
If you’re shoveling, make sure you use a sturdy metal shovel. Make sure there are no gashes or broken parts on it. Otherwise, a dull shovel can create cracks and holes in your driveway.
2. Spread rock salt or other deicers on your driveway: After most of the snow is removed from your driveway, use a spreader to apply rock salt or another deicer on your driveway.
3. You can spray rubbing alcohol on your driveway to remove ice as well: According to WikiHow, you can use 70% isopropyl alcohol in a quart or half-gallon spray bottle.
You don’t have to dilute the alcohol with water unless you want to. Just spray the rubbing alcohol back and forth along your driveway.
Wait for 15 to 30 minutes for the rubbing alcohol to do its magic, then go back outside and shovel the loose ice to the side.
4. Substitute calcium chloride or magnesium chloride: If you’re concerned about the harmful effects of rock salt on your pets’ paws or you don’t want any salt shoveled onto your lawn, you can use calcium chloride or magnesium chloride in a spreader to remove ice.
These deicers come in pellet form and will be crushed into smaller pieces by your spreader.
5. Remember to keep rock salt off your lawn and flowerbeds: Rock salt can burn your lawn grass and kill your perennials. Plus, too much salt in the soil depletes it of essential soil microorganisms.
6. Don’t let your pets lick or eat the rock salt: Also, rock salt and other deicers, such as calcium chloride, can be toxic to dogs and cats.
Your dog and cat will ingest the deicers by licking them directly, drinking melted ice that has rock salt in it, or by licking their paws.
Symptoms of rock salt or other deicer poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, seizures as well as other symptoms. If you think your pet ingested any deicer, call animal poison control or take your pets to the local pet emergency room.
7. After applying rock salt to your driveway, it’s time to pick up the shovel again: Depending on the ice’s thickness, you may need to wait up to 30 minutes for the ice to soften.
Get your sturdy shovel out again to scrape the ice off your driveway. Make sure you clean off all slush, so it doesn’t refreeze overnight.
8. Use warm water from your garden hose to wash down rock salt: You can help the ice soften faster if you can hook up your garden hose to a laundry spigot. Spray warm water down your driveway to speed up the melting process.
9. Eco-friendly ways to remove ice from your driveway. There are other eco-friendly methods for removing ice from your driveway. These methods include
• You can install snow melt mats, boil water and put it in a sprinkling can to pour on your driveway, or you can mix water and vinegar. Put it in a watering can to apply to your driveway.
• Don’t have any vinegar on hand? Then use pickle brine. It has salt and vinegar that will melt the ice on your driveway.
Read more: Got a swampy yard? Here’s how to fix it.
What Happens When You Don’t Get Rid of the Snow and Ice on Your Driveway?
If you’re a busy professional and don’t always have time to shovel the snow and ice out of your driveway, your car and family members will suffer.
A car’s undercarriage sitting in constant moisture, and with some rock salt mixed in, will lead to rust. And rust on the underside of your vehicle can ruin it for good.
If you have only a dusting of snow or up to 1” of snow on your driveway, it’s not a big deal. But when multiple snow events are happening, the snow just keeps accumulating. Add freezing rain or freeze/thaw conditions will lead to a slick driveway.
You don’t want your family and friends to slip and fall on your driveway. Slips and falls can result in broken bones and long recovery times. So, keep up with your driveway by cleaning snow and ice all winter long.