DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Metro Detroit is digging out Wednesday from a slushy, icy mess.

And what’s worse than just plain old snow? Ice.

To keep drivers and homeowners safe, the Snow & Ice Management Association, a national nonprofit organization representing the snow removal industry, is suggesting five tips for keeping ice at bay on your driveway, reducing the chances of a mishap on your property.

“The overall goal of deicing is to break or prevent the bond between ice/snow and any surface,” said Martin B. Tirado, CAE, Executive Director, SIMA. “Generally, salt (sodium chloride) is the most cost effective method of deicing and the most common form of salt used in the U.S. is rock salt.”

Here are five tips to consider when deicing your treacherous icy areas on your property:

Tip 1: Salt has its limits. Rock salt is an effective deicer and can be very helpful when deicing icy areas of your property. But remember that it can lose effectiveness as temperatures go down, especially when the temperature is below 20 degrees. The best indicator of salt’s performance related to temperature is to determine the temperature of the pavement.

Tip 2: Use the proper material. While salt is a great first defense as a deicer, it may lose its effectiveness at temperatures below 20 degrees. If the temperatures in your area are lower than 20 degrees, consider using other products that melt ice at lower temperatures. Good alternatives to salt include calcium chloride, magnesium chloride or other blended materials. Be sure that the product contains more than trace elements of any given product.

Tip 3: Spread deicer evenly. When applying a deicer, be sure to spread it evenly across the surface. Avoid placing too much product in one spot. Rather, spread a base amount across the icy area and allow the product time to work. Be careful not to spread or throw the material past the surface you are trying to deice—many deicing materials can have adverse affects on trees, plants and grass–especially if they have repeated exposure. (there are a few products that are used as deicers, like urea, that actually act like fertilizers, but they aren’t as effective or common).

Tip 4: Watch your back. Deicing materials can be heavy, so be careful about how much you try to carry at one time–especially when walking on ice and snow. Use a small container to carry the rock salt or invest in a quality spreader to ensure the salt is applied evenly and effectively.

Tip 5: Store carefully. Since moisture can cause deicers to lose effectiveness and clump or freeze, be sure to store them in airtight containers. The best place to store deicers may be in your garage, on a high shelf out of reach of young children and pets.

Following these tips will help ensure that you survive and thrive through winter 2013. For more snow and ice removal tips, visit SIMA.





About the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA)

Founded in 1996, the Snow & Ice Management Association is the nation’s trade association for professionals involved with the snow & ice industry including snow plowing as well as commercial & residential snow removal.


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