Shoveling snow is something that everyone has to do during the winter season, (unless you have TLC do snow removal for you!!) but proper winter maintenance extends past just shoveling the walk. Snow and ice buildup is a serious problem can lead to dangerous conditions around one’s house. Usually, we think of slipping and falling as the biggest damaging factor when it comes to snow/ice but choosing the correct type of ice melt can be a way to avoid some more problems. Charcoal is a great alternative ice melt and re purposes your fire ash.
Typically, a salt or sand based ice melt is used to help melt the snow and ice, but these products can lead to damage to your landscape, concrete, and cement. In fact, in the spring, it is common to see dead turf and damaged landscape plants along park strips and driveways where snow tainted with salt has been pushed. Turf will recover with a month or so, but trees and shrubs take a significant amount of time longer to heal. Ash is a great environmentally safe alternative to damaging ice melts, and is a product that can be made at home while you’re keeping your house warm.
Ash absorbs solar heat, which in theory, allows more snow to melt. It is proven to work faster than traditional methods including salt/sand ice melts. Ash is also the most sustainable and environmentally friendly ice melting tool. The best way to go about using the ash is to keep a container of some kind throughout the year. Make sure to wait for the ash to cool, and dump it into the container you have set aside. Collect as much as desired and wait for the snow to fall. Once there is some snow/ice collected on your driveways, spread a thin layer of ash over the driveway to melt the snow.
Cat Facing- a condition caused by salt damage. As water dries away from the pavement, salt penetrates the cement surface and expands to break up the cement.
Groundwater problems- can degrade water quality as well as kill fish and other organisms.
Snow mold– a type of fungus and turf disease that damages or kills grass after snow melts, typically in late winter.
Keep in mind that salt ice melt is a great tool for cleaning up sidewalks and driveways, but if used, use in the proper amounts. Make sure that ice melt is not piled up in copious amounts, and make sure to clean the concrete surface from salt once ice has melted. Give us a ring over at TLC if you need any help with snow removal this winter season!!!!!!!!!
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“The best friend on earth of man is the tree: when we use the tree respectfully and economically we have one of the greatest resources of the earth.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright