The Sky Valley is still awaiting its first heavy snowfall of the year, but one thing is for sure, when it comes, things will get slippery quickly.
In this region, snows are often followed by warming and rains, which can turn the fluffy white stuff into a sheet of ice.
In order to keep your walkways safe, try one of these solutions:
This is certainly a cheap option, but it’s also harsh on the environment, because once it melts the ice in your drive, it runs down into the storm drains and on into local rivers. In some places, the use of salt is illegal. Salt can also damage the edges of your lawn and other foliage bordering the salted area.
Because of concerns for the environment, many stores, including Fred Meyer and Del’s Farm and Feed in Monroe and Ace Hardware in Sultan, sell deicing salt. Made of multiple chemicals such as sodium chloride and calcium chloride, they are easier on the earth, but can still be hard on some metals, as well as on shoes.
Sand is a cheap and environmentally-friendly option, and is widely available. Ace Hardware in Sultan carries tube sand, which can serve multiple purposes in the winter months. It can weigh down the back of a vehicle to provide additional traction on icy roads. It can be used as a sandbag when rivers rise. And it can be opened and the sand scattered on driveways and sidewalks. Sand has the added benefit of being inexpensive. Other abrasives that can break up ice include kitty litter and sawdust, but some of them can get messy.
Available at some farm supply stores, alfalfa meal is an almost side-effect-free form of deicing agent that provides traction and melts ice.
Potash contains potassium chloride, which is an effect deicer that is less harmful to plants than salt. It’s primarily a fertilizer, but shouldn’t be used where nitrogen is a concern.