When applying snow and ice management solutions, de-icing salt is tried and true. It has been used as early as the 1930s and for a good reason. There is much debate around alternative de-icing methods. It is often asked if alternative methods are just as effective. Not necessarily. The internet is full of excellent information. However, it is also full of incorrect information or “fake news.” In today’s article, we will be highlighting a few alternative de-icing methods and whether or not they are worth the hassle.
The disadvantage of cat litter as a de-icing solution
Cat litter has been a hot topic on many blog posts as an effective alternative to melting snow and ice. Although it will assist by creating traction, it will not melt ice or snow. Cat litter is meant to absorb, which is why it is predominately used to support the bathroom needs of indoor house pets. Therefore, it will only absorb environmental moisture and precipitation, leaving you with large clumps of clay on sidewalks, pathways, driveways, or parking lots. Commercial properties will benefit from having professional snow and ice management contractors tackle high-traffic areas. Clumps of wet clay mixed with snow or ice will create a slippery mess, which is not ideal for areas with heavy traffic, including foot traffic.
The disadvantage of coffee grounds as a de-icing solution
Coffee grounds have also been circulating online forums as an alternative method for snow and ice management. Similar to cat litter, coffee grounds are being used to create traction. You may think, well, why not use this common household product? Who doesn’t love the smell of coffee? Although true! It is not about the aroma filling up the air of surrounding neighbourhoods. Safety should be your number one priority. Sidewalks, pathways, and commercial parking lots must be made clear and safe for pedestrians. It is essential to know that coffee grinds do not melt snow or ice. The only way this can be deemed effective is if it is applied during dry conditions and the sun is shining. However, waiting for dry, sunny conditions during Canadian winters is not practical—especially when covering large commercial areas. Small coffee grinds are not a permanent solution. The small grounds can be easily carried by winds or brushed away from busy pedestrians. There is also the issue of tracking small staining particles into the car, office, or home, creating a huge disastrous mess. A combination of sand and de-icing salt is a much better solution.
The disadvantage of using wood ash as a de-icing solution
Lastly, wood ash has been described as an effective snow and ice management solution. Using wood ash may be helpful for homeowners who own a wood-fueled fireplace and are in desperate need of an ice-melting solution for small areas. Be aware that although wood ash contains potassium and can absorb sunlight, it is slow acting. This is not a practical method for contractors or professional landscapers who take care of large commercial properties.
Sand, bulk de-icing salt, treated salt are effective solutions for creating traction, melting snow, and preventing ice formation. It is essential to maintain the safety of commercial properties with proper snow and ice management solutions. At FSI Landscape Supply, we provide contractors and landscaping professionals with bulk de-icing solutions. Contact us today for more information!