Finding your driveway covered in snow and ice is never a great way to start the day. Most people pull out rock salt and generously pour it on the driveway, but what if you’re out of salt?
Maybe you’ve heard about all the drawbacks of rock salt and don’t want to use it anymore. Thankfully, there are many alternatives for removing snow and ice from a driveway without rock salt.
The Problem with Salting a Driveway
Rock salt, also known as halite, is often the first-line option for getting rid of snow and ice on a driveway. However, many people are alarmed to learn that there are some significant downsides to this common solution.
Rock salt can cause substantial damage to asphalt and concrete pavements. In addition, it can cause the plant life surrounding your driveway to lose its leaves. Sometimes, it can even pose a health threat to pets and children.
Rock salt can irritate the throat, mouth, stomach, and intestines if you accidentally inhale it, and it can be fatal if too much of it is ingested. For these reasons, many people are looking for good alternatives to rock salt.
What Are the Best Alternatives for Removing Snow and Ice?
Here are some of the best alternatives to clearing an ice- and snow-covered driveway:
Create a Hot Water, Soap, and Rubbing Alcohol Mixture
There are solutions other than rock salt to help melt snow and ice. This particular solution is one you can easily and quickly make yourself. Simply grab a bucket and add half of a gallon of hot water, one-fourth a cup of rubbing alcohol, and around six drops of dish soap.
Once it’s all combined, you pour the solution over the driveway. The snow should bubble up and begin melting. You’ll still need to use a shovel to scrape away any leftover snow. You also might need to make more of the mixture if you have a larger driveway.
Use a Shovel and the Sun
While not the most fun or time-efficient option, a shovel, and the Sun are a tried-and-true pair. The earlier you shovel, the better off you’ll be. The objective is to get as much snow off the driveway early, to avoid people walking on it. Once people walk on the snow, it compacts, making it harder to get rid of and more dangerous.
By shoveling early, the Sun has ample time to melt off any residual snow, which helps ensure no black ice forms. Of course, for this method to be effective, you will have to shovel every morning throughout the season, but if you’re consistent, it can keep the driveway free of hazardous ice.
Invest in a Snow Blower
If you don’t want to shovel the driveway (or pay someone to shovel it), a snowblower might be the perfect alternative. A snow blower allows you to get rid of snow by blowing it off your driveway without using rock salt or a shovel.
There are several different types of snowblowers, each with its own capabilities, so you’ll want to make sure to choose one that can handle the amount of snow you need to move on those snowy mornings.
Use Portable Snow Melting Mats
Portable snow melting mats are generally used in walkways and entryways, but they can also be used on your driveway. You can simply store the mats in your garage and take them out and lay them on the driveway as needed.
They can be a bit cumbersome to move, and they take up quite a bit of garage space. They can also affect curb appeal a bit when they’re in use, but they’re a popular and effective alternative to rock salt and shoveling.
Never Worry About Snow or Ice Again with Radiant Heating
The most comprehensive solution for getting rid of the hassle of snowy driveways for good is with radiant heating. If you use a radiant heating system on your driveway, you don’t ever have to worry about snow or ice again. Instead, your driveway will do all the work for you.
High-quality radiant heating systems for driveways work automatically. They monitor the precipitation, temperature, and moisture, so driveways stay free of snow and ice for the whole season. In addition, radiant heating systems for driveways are installed beneath the concrete or pavers, so they’re aesthetically appealing all year round.
On average, the total price for a 750 Sqft system will run around $7,521.
Be Proactive to Avoid a Driveway Disaster
Proactivity is crucial when it comes to snow and ice on driveways. You have to be proactive and have a plan before the snow falls because failing to get rid of the snow and ice can lead to dangerous consequences.
Even if you’re out of rock salt or you don’t want to use rock salt anymore, there are several workable alternatives that can help get rid of snow and ice. The best choice for you will depend on your circumstances.
The overall best option for hassle-free, reliable snow and ice removal is by and large radiant heating systems. They allow you to proactively handle wintery weather without the headache.
At Warmup, we specialize in radiant heating and heated driveway systems and we provide unparalleled customer service and warranties. Contact us today for a free quote.