Most people are already familiar with the struggles of winter seasons – cold weather, heavy clothes, shorter days and snow piling up in driveways and walkways. Coping with wintry temperatures might be tough, and dealing with snow or ice issues can get particularly stressful.
But with the right tips, there will be no need to get to that point! In this post, we offer some helpful information and suggestions around ice management, so you can be prepared for whatever winter brings.
Ice Management: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
Snowstorms are pretty common during winter, and rare yet possible during fall seasons. Just a few hours of snowfall might be enough for streets to get sunk into coldness. Snow can cover up driveways, parking lots, school’s entrances, or even houses’ front yards. Moreover, it can get accumulated on top of vehicles, cover a home porch entirely, or even block the way into a commercial store.
Ice management refers to the execution of ice removal procedures at any given location. Snow plowing is usually carried out to remove snow while it is still manageable. However, cold temperatures can quickly plummet down, causing snow to freeze into ice and making it harder to deal with – and potentially more dangerous.
Ice management comes into play when shoveling becomes impossible, and it’s a very important practice that should not be underrated, since any surface covered with ice is more likely to cause problems and setbacks that could be frustrating, time-consuming and even life-risky.
The Importance of Effective Ice Management for Safety and Accessibility
Ice management is a risk mitigation strategy that prevents contingencies before they happen. Accumulated ice, if not treated properly, can trigger inconveniences of all kinds, from accessibility issues to harmful incidents.
It is very easy to slip and fall if you walk through an iced paved street or if you climb some iced stairs. You could also be exposed to slippery derailments or car accidents when driving through a road that is covered with ice. Safety is on demand for everyone during the winter, which makes ice management a crucial need for drivers, pedestrians, and even pets.
An effective ice control is also key to allow accessibility to and from places. Excessive ice at your front door could force you to stay home and miss work, school, appointments, and more. Although this would not be much of an issue for those who work or study remotely, several activities would still be affected if you cannot commute – friends and family gatherings, dog walks, bike rides, are just some examples of daily actions that could be jeopardized by lack of ice management.
Entrances blocked by buildup ice could constrain people to be kept inside buildings, or prevent them from attending places. Even parking lot entrances could get completely blocked out, making it impossible to drive vehicles in or out premises. Furthermore, If you are a commercial property owner, you may want to prevent ice from building up at your store’s entrance, as it may be a gamechanger for your business if customers cannot get in.
Simple Solutions: DIY Approaches to Ice Management
While hiring a paving company is a great option for professional ice management services, there are some preventive solutions you can apply yourself in order to mitigate risks and avoid ice from becoming a real issue.
Good old fashioned salt is a popular way to melt ice. Here’s a little bit of physics to understand how it works: salt lowers the freezing point on ice water. When salt comes into contact with ice on a road, for example, the solvation process causes heat to be released, therefore melting the ice.
This is a good option to address ice from minor downfalls, as it will be easier to remove the remaining snow after some melting. However, it is important to have in mind that cold surfaces covered with salt tend to re-freeze at lower temperatures, and the corrosive effect of salt might cause cracks or damages on concrete floors. So, if you try this method, make sure to clean up the area afterwards.
Try rubbing alcohol
You may notice that several deicing products contain alcohol in their formulas – this is because, just as salt does, alcohol significantly lowers down the freezing temperatures of water. If you are looking for a less harming ice management solution that you can apply on any season, simply add two parts rubbing alcohol to one part warm water, and spray the liquid onto the iced surface.
Melt the snow
If you prefer tacking issues before they even exist, try melting the snow when it’s just snow, before it freezes down into ice. You can just spray warm water from a hose or a bottle onto the snow to turn it into water. Once done, we suggest sprinkling some salt on the clean area, in order to add traction and prevent the surface from freezing again.
Cover up your car
A good practice that might seem redundant but tends to be forgotten, is to protect cars or any belongings that are left outdoors. If you don’t have a garage for your vehicle, an insulating car cover might be a great fix, as it will keep the ice off your car and while preventing the engine from cooling down with plummeting temperatures. Tarps might be more affordable alternatives for covering your car as well.
Take advantage of the leaf blower
If you own a leaf blower, you can use it for more than just blowing leafs in the fall. Leaf blowers are good options for blowing snow when it’s just fallen down. If you go for this solution, have in mind that it will work well as long as the snow is just a few inches down and still fluffy – you may try it during a light snowfall, repeating the process every hour or so.
Long-Term Strategy: Opt for Pavement Solutions to Manage Ice
Some areas like New England are known for their unpredictable weather, with hot summers and cold freezing winters that can take people by surprise. For these locations, well-rounded paving solutions are essential to prevent consequences of all sorts.
Paving services for icy driveways often involve the set up of permeable pavers, which are a popular choice for their durability and convenience. Their porous construction materials or interlocking grid designs prevent water buildup on pavement surfaces, making this a great long-term solution to manage ice throughout the season.
Need Expertise? Reach Out to a Reputable Construction Company
If you are rather looking for professional paving services, if the area is too large or unable to be managed by yourself, or if you are in need of assistance for ice management in complex locations, the best solution will be to contact a paving or construction company to deal with your ice management challenges, prevent liabilities and fix ice related issues once and for all.
At New England Paving, our paving contractors are professionally trained to conduct ice and snow removal in any circumstances. Our commitment is to help customers go through the winter season without ever worrying about slipping into any ice problems.