If you’re a commercial property owner in the Philadelphia area, you probably already understand the benefits and importance of professional snow management. Snow and ice in the northeast can be unpredictable, and making sure that your property is thoroughly cleared soon after inclement weather can help you avoid liability and keep your friends and family safe all season long.
Even if you’ve never used professional deicing services on your property before, you likely still understand how applying salt to any icy surfaces can be highly beneficial. Shoveling alone simply does not remove all of the ice from the surface of your sidewalk or driveway, and the ice that’s left behind can often be dangerous and harder to detect. While ice melt is highly useful, it is not without its drawbacks.
Can Ice Melt Damage Surfaces?
Most forms of concrete and pavement are permeable, which means that they will absorb liquids that they’re exposed to. Over time, as concrete surfaces ice over and are treated with salt, the absorption of water and the chemicals in ice melt can cause them to crack, pit, and generally become worn down.
Winters in Philadelphia are notoriously harsh, and some degree of wear and tear is to be expected, but you can mitigate this damage significantly by taking the right steps. Here’s how you can prevent long-term damage to your cement while keeping it clear of snow and ice all winter.
Be Conservative When Applying
Many property owners that are dealing with concrete damage may be contributing to the problem more than they know by overusing de-icer when it snows. When too much salt is used on an icy concrete surface, excess chemicals can mix with the runoff when the ice starts to melt, and consequently be soaked up by the permeable pavement. “Less is more” is a good rule of thumb to remember when it comes to applying ice melt, as excess absorption of salt can contribute to cracking and pitting.
By being more careful with your application of ice melt, you can save yourself money and prolong the lifespan of your driveway or sidewalk while still keeping the surfaces clear and safe all winter.
Apply Before It Snows
If you want to use less ice melt this winter but are worried about achieving the same level of thorough clearing, treating your surfaces with ice melt before it snows is an effective way to make the same amount of it go further. When you pre-treat, it makes it more difficult for ice to form in the first place, which can make the job of clearing it much easier. It may seem counterintuitive to start applying ice melt before the snow begins, but in the end, this can significantly reduce the total amount of product that you will need to use.
Keep Ice Melt Inside
A common way that homeowners end up wasting ice melt is by leaving it outside or in their garage where it is more easily exposed to the harsh elements. It may not seem to make sense, but any snow and ice management expert will tell you that leaving ice melt outside in cold weather can cause it to harden and form clumps. Once this happens, the product becomes much more difficult to use and may need to be thrown away. Keeping ice melt inside in a sealed container can help prolong its effective lifespan and save you money on buying more.