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6 Ways to Remove Snow and Ice Without Damaging Concrete

If you live in an area that sees a significant amount of snow and ice during the winter season, concrete repair pros say that the damage caused by said snow and ice is one of the issues that you need to look out for and prevent. After all, if left unattended, the damage won’t just make your property look unsightly, but it might also cause injuries to anyone who’s passing by your home.

With that in mind, homeowners often look for ways to remove snow and ice from concrete as soon as possible, and one method that they often favor is the use of salt. However, according to experts, homeowners should never use salt to melt snow and prevent ice from forming on the concrete. This is due to the fact that salt can actually damage concrete, causing it to pit and eventually crack and break, which in turn can force you to spend more in the long run just to have it repaired or replaced. If you can’t use salt for snow and ice removal, then it’s prudent that you learn what the alternatives are available to you.

Here are the six different ways you can remove snow and ice without damaging the concrete around your home:

  • Shoveling – Of course, when you’re trying to prevent ice from forming on your concrete driveway or paths, one better alternative to using salt is simply shoveling the snow out of the way before it piles up and turns into ice. In fact, this is a tried-and-trusted method and is considered safer compared to salting the pavement. Unfortunately, however, if the ice hardens enough, a simple shovel may not be able to do the trick. Should you ever encounter this issue, it’s best that you hire a professional like NAV Construction to remove the ice for you instead.
  • Heated stair mats – Alternatively, if you have concrete steps leading up to your home, or you have other paved areas on your property, concrete repair experts also say that you can always use a heated stair mat to melt snow and prevent ice from forming on your concrete. According to snow removal professionals, these heated stair mats can be placed anywhere around your property and won’t cause any harm to your concrete surface, children, or your pets.
  • Concrete coatings – On the other hand, if you’re too busy to shovel or heated stair mats are out of the question for the job, you can also turn to applying coatings to concrete instead. To do this, you can use a clear film to coat the concrete and prevent water from absorbing it, stopping ice from forming in the process. Apart from that, many of these coatings also contain chemicals like siloxane/silane, which can allow your concrete to “breathe”. So long as you avoid coatings that use silicone/paraffin, which traps water and can lead to surface spalling, the application of concrete coating should suffice in preventing ice from forming on your concrete. However, keep in mind that it is possible to make mistakes when applying concrete coatings around your home. For best results, don’t hesitate to turn to NAV Construction, the pros in repairing sidewalks and snow removal services, for assistance in getting the job done.
  • Sand – Alternatively, if you have a concrete driveway and removing the snow or ice can’t be done, you can also use sand. This is because while it doesn’t melt snow or ice, it can provide extra traction, preventing slips and falls if you step on the ice. Unfortunately, there are also times when you can’t opt for this method because if the conditions are too slippery, then sand might not be a safe alternative and may even lead to more slips and falls instead. Therefore, before you start pouring sand, it’s best that you take some time to ensure that the conditions are ideal first.
  • Cat litter – Believe it or not, yes, you can use cat litter as an alternative to salt and sand. This is because not only can it prevent ice from forming on your stamped and decorative concrete, but also because it can provide you with good traction, helping you avoid slipping and falling in the process. Also, unlike salt, cat litter will not cause any harm to your concrete the way salt would once it’s been applied, especially if you use natural cat litter that doesn’t have any chemicals and toxins in them. Apart from that, it’s also safe for your pets, children, plants, and basically everyone who would possibly come into contact with your snow-covered concrete, making it one of the safer alternatives you can consider.
  • Electric heating coils or hydronic tubing – Finally, if you’re really intent on preventing ice from forming on your concrete driveway, experts say that you can also install electric heating coils or hydronic plastic tubing under your driveway. This is one of the most efficient ways to melt snow and ice because homeowners themselves have control over their temperature settings and can heat the entirety or a single portion of the driveway if they wish. However, while it’s a worthy investment, keep in mind that it’s also a costly one – it can cost up to a few thousand dollars just to get it done. If you opt for this method, avoid attempting to DIY the job, and, instead, turn to a professional like NAV Construction for assistance, guaranteeing you make the most of your investment.

Need someone who can help you remove snow and ice from concrete? Look no further than the pros at NAV Construction. When it comes to repairing sidewalks and snow removal services, we are the experts to turn to for all your needs. With years of experience under our belts, we are dedicated to giving homeowners nothing but the best when it comes to products and services. Give us a call at (540) 812-2277, or fill out our contact form to get started with your project. We look forward to working with you for all your concrete needs.

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