When snow and ice become a seasonal reality, salting your sidewalks may seem like a necessary evil. Sure, it helps melt winter ice and snow, but the wrong kind can cause concrete surfaces to disintegrate.
To keep your walkways in great shape year-round, choose salt made from potassium chloride. This type of salt will melt ice without damaging your sidewalk.
Here’s a bonus tip, if you want to be extra-smart: buy potassium chloride before winter storms set in, and mix it with playground sand. Keep a supply stored near each entrance to your home, where it’ll be within easy reach.
And, bonus tip #2, here are a few tips for snow shoveling that can also help ease your way out of a winter wonderland:
- Shovel right after the storm. The longer you wait, the heavier snow gets. Wet snow can weigh 20 lbs per shovel-full, or more, and one wrong turn of the shovel can throw your back out for good.
- Pace yourself. If you haven't been training for the next Ironman competition, take it easy! For most people, snow shoveling is an exhaustive aerobic activity you're not used to. Work slowly and take plenty of breaks when snow shoveling to keep your heart rate down.
- When shoveling, keep your knees bent and lift with your legs, not your back.
- Carry the snow to the place where you want to dump it from the shovel. Throwing the snow can twist your back, putting you out of commission for days.
With the right sidewalk salt mixture and snow shovel technique, you’ll keep your concrete safe and your loved ones, too.