Get smart about salt! Salt is an economic and effective way for keeping surfaces clear of ice in the winter. It is important however, to manage its use so it will have the least negative impact on our environment. Did you know that salt can cause damage to buildings, vehicles and your footwear or clothing? It also eventually makes its way into our drinking water wells and causes high chloride levels that may make drinking water taste salty. Wildlife is attracted to salt on roadways which increases the risk of vehicle collisions.
It’s important to understand how salt works and when you should use it. You should only use salt when the temperature is 0 degrees Celsius or lower. Salt works by preventing or breaking the bond between ice and pavement, which allows snow and ice to be plowed or shovelled more easily.
Follow these steps when clearing your driveway or sidewalk of snow and ice:
- When clearing snow and ice, remember to shovel first, which will help reduce the amount of salt needed, use salt only on icy areas and take steps to prevent ice buildups.
- Use alternative aids such as sand or kitty litter on icy patches
- Move unsalted snow to lower areas and redirect downspouts away from walkways or driveways. This will direct the melted snow away from paved areas.
- Confirm snow removal contractors are certified Smart about Salt.