Salt is good for melting snow, making it easier to access your driveway without risking a slip, but is it the best choice for saving your asphalt driveway from the harsh elements? There are pros and cons to salt, and of course, there are alternatives for those who decide to use a different de-icing method.
Salt lowers the freezing point of water, so it can be used to prevent driveways from getting icy, and to melt ice that is already present. It is an inexpensive method of ice removal.
Salt can create challenges in the area surrounding your driveway. After using salt all season long you may find that excess salt has built up in the soil of your landscaping, affecting how well plants are able to absorb moisture and nutrients required to thrive.
If you have pets, you might notice that salt is affecting their paws, as it can burn their tender skin. Salt is also corrosive to some types of shoes, and some vehicle parts. Perhaps worst of all, salt can eat away at the surface of your driveway.
You can keep ice and snow at bay without using salt. First, you should shovel as soon as possible, to keep it from building up. If you are looking for traction on slippery surfaces, sand works well and is inexpensive.
If you are constructing a new driveway, look into options that allow for heat underneath the surface. Without adding too much more onto the cost of your driveway, you will be able to keep it clear with a simple switch of a button rather than having to go out and shovel or spread a de-icer.
Watch your step on ice, but watch out for your driveway, too!