Info from Local Hardware Stores in Seattle: How to Remove Ice and Snow Without Damaging Your Concrete Driveway

Many areas across the United States will see snowfall this winter to varying degrees. And, while winter weather can transform the view into a beautiful snow covered landscape, it’s also the season that brings a host of hazards. Depending on the area where you live, dangerous winter weather conditions vary from roads layered in ice and piled with snow to driveways topped with a slippery coating of ice. Millions of Americans follow through on a common practice every winter—spreading salt over concrete surfaces to deal with snow and ice.

The dangers of salting concrete

One popular deicing product used to melt away ice is rock salt. Unfortunately, the chlorides in the rock salt can harm plants, landscaping, pets and wild animals, and nearby waterways, not to mention cause damage to your concrete driveway and walkways. Small salt crystals can easily make their way down into concrete through pores in surfaces, and then they attract water. Between increased water saturation of the concrete from deicing salt and water runoff seeping into your driveway, there’s a greater chance for frozen water to expand inside the concrete and crack.

Although using rock salt to deice every once in a while may not cause issues, you could benefit from trying other solutions. Let’s find out what local hardware stores in Seattle recommend for dealing with ice and snow without damaging your concrete driveway:

  • Shovel and broom: If the snow is not too deep or weighed down by water, grab a snow shovel and put your body to work! Shovels are an inexpensive way to remove snow, as they do not produce harmful side effects that can hurt the environment. To avoid damaging your concrete driveway, only use a proper snow shovel or gently sweep snow away with a broom.
  • Battery- or electric-powered snow blower: Shoveling snow takes a lot of energy. If you are unable to shovel or have a larger driveway, consider investing in a snow blower. Rather than a gas-powered model, choose one that runs on a battery or electricity to limit the output of harmful emissions.
  • Sand: There are two ways you can use sand on your driveway this winter. You can use sand to provide extra traction (note that sand alone will not melt ice or snow), or a mix of sand and salt. Understand that sand is not a safe alternative in extremely slippery conditions.
  • Concrete coatings: Consider applying a clear film on top of your concrete driveway to prevent water absorption. Keep in mind that a siloxane or silane coating will allow concrete to breathe, while a paraffin or silicone coating may trap water inside, leading to surface spalling.

To lay a new concrete driveway or walkway, you need to be prepared with the right materials from local hardware stores in Seattle. Head to Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. for everything you’ll need to get the job done right. Call us today for a list of the kinds of concrete products and accessories we carry!

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