A handy guide for when the ice/snow storms finally hit us.
Whilst it might feel like the snow is a long way off yet despite the freezing temperatures setting in, ice can still wreak havoc with our morning routines as we prepare to head out to work/school.
Ice warnings mean that surfaces, pavements, driveways need to be used with care to avoid slips and falls which cause a significant percentage of hospital visits over the winter months.
Rock Salt at the ready
Here’s some handy tips to keep everything nice and clear and it all starts the night before:
- You can apply good old rock salt that you can buy from the shops. This is similar to the grit that’s applied to the roads as the brine it creates melts the ice making shovelling a lot easier. Just use it sparingly however on high traffic areas.
Rock salt can be pricey enough at the moment, never mind wreaking havoc with your grass/winter garden plans and it also burns the feet of our little furry friends, so there’s a few other options to try out.
Budget friendly hacks to melt ice
- Sand – make use of the kids leftover sandpit from summer and sprinkle it to create some traction on outdoor surfaces. Much more garden friendly too!
- Cat litter – bit of an odd one but like sand it helps create a little more traction if your stuck and don’t have anything else to hand. Can be messy mind you as it sticks to your shoes.
- Vinegar – good old vinegar can’t be beat as it lowers the ice melting point so when mixed with hot water this is a great option.
- Beet juice – definitely sounds a bit crazy but this is actually used in the States quite a lot where they get seriously low temperatures. You do need to mix it with a little table salt and be mindful that it can stain of course.
With your prep done then, it’s all about getting up early and out there to get ahead and get clearing.
Don’t leave snow/ice lying around as once it compacts it’s harder to defrost. Removing the top layer will help the sun melt everything leaving clear space to put some salt down ahead of another cold night.