Upper Merion Township offers the following tips to managing ice and snow on driveways and walkways:
- Shovel early. The more snow and ice you remove, the less salt you will have to use, and the more effective it will be.
- More salt does not mean more melting. Apply salt appropriately and remember it takes time to work. Consider purchasing a handheld spreader to help you apply a consistent amount.
- Fifteen degrees Fahrenheit is too cold for salt. Most salts stop working at this temperature. Use a traction agent as needed, but remember they do not melt ice.
- Sweep up excess. Salt or sand on dry pavement is no longer doing any work. Sweep it up before it is washed away, and remember to apply less the next time.
- Try an alternative for traction. Sand and kitty litter are effective but can clog sewers and degrade stream habitat when washed away. Cracked corn is an environmentally-friendly alternative.
- Understand what’s in it. All de-icers will melt the ice, but some have less of an impact on the environment. Instead of sodium chloride or calcium chloride, use products containing an acetate, potassium chloride, or magnesium chloride.