Keeping Walkways Safe during the Winter
Your driveway and walkways can become a hazardous landscape during the icy winter months. Here are some tips to keep traction and mobility at optimal levels this season.
One of the first ways you can begin making your walkways safer for yourself and guests is by practicing good snow removal. Shoveling accumulated snow not only helps prevent stumbling and mobility issues but is better for the concrete underneath as well. Concrete is a porous material and will absorb moisture, which is not a good thing in the colder temperatures since this can lead to freezing and cracking, so keeping snow levels low is the way to go.
When shoveling, remember to dress warmly, stay hydrated, stretch beforehand, and avoid overexerting yourself. Offer to help elderly neighbors clear their sidewalks as the strain could be more difficult for them. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall you should seriously consider purchasing a snowblower to save time, health, and energy.
Once most of the snow has been removed you can use deicers to help deplete and reduce the chance for ice formation, which could make walking conditions hazardous. Choose to use products that contain calcium magnesium acetate, potassium chloride, or regular rock salt. These will have less harmful side effects for your lawn and pavement than the harsher chemical alternatives. If you have any cracks in the pavement it is a good idea to complete your concrete slab crack repair before applying deicer. The products could seep down into the crack and erode the pavement at a chemical level. When you apply deicers always wear gloves. Applying the salts before a winter storm can be a good idea to prevent ice from forming in the first place.
If you want to avoid using chemical deicers natural solutions like sand, gravel, kitty litter, and dry coffee grounds can help increase traction. Although they will not prevent ice from forming, they can help prevent nasty falls by increasing the grip on the ground.
Along with the snow and ice conditions there are a few other steps you can take and considerations you should make to help increase the safety and mobility of your walkways.
If you have any outdoor lighting that needs to be updated, loose railings that need to tightened, or concrete slab crack repair that needs to be done, now is the time to do it. By taking a few steps you can increase the winter safety of visitors to your home and decrease the opportunities for costly and painful tumbles this year.