Salt vs. Sand Mix - Omaha, Nebraskaby David Steg on 01/22/16
Nobody likes winter snow storms, especially the ice that comes along with them. It already seems like a daunting task to shovel the driveway in cold temperatures, but then what do you do with all that ice? Today, we have two options to go over and which may be the better for cutting down the ice and saving your yard or concrete.
Rock salt is the mineral form of table salt, which forms into large crystals. Salt helps to lower the freezing point of water, so this method has been used to cover roads to keep them from getting icy. A few things to note, salt only works in temperatures above 12 degrees Fahrenheit. One downfall to using salt is that it can be harsh on grass, shrubs, and can also eat away at concrete or steel.
Unlike rock salt, sand will not melt the ice. Sand is abrasive and this helps to create traction when applied on top of the ice. Sand will work at any temperature, but it usually has to be reapplied because it typically gets buried under snow. If sand is not available, other abrasive materials can be used as a substitute (kitty liter or saw dust), but will need to be cleaned up after the storm. Excessive amounts of debris can clog drains, so it is important that you clean up after each use.
I personally like to use sand for larger areas, such as parking lots. It is usually less expensive than salt and will not eat away at the concrete. Salt can be a good choice for high traffic walking areas, especially on the sidewalks of a business. It all comes down to personal preference, but remember one of the best solutions is to keep snow off your driveway and shovel often.