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Eco-Friendly Snow and Ice Removal

Rock salt is probably the first thing that you reach for in the winter when ice forms outside. Ice can be very hazardous – it can make your walkways too slippery to walk on safely, your driveway dangerous to drive on, and ice dams on your roof can lead to leaks or gutter damage. But using salt to de-ice your property comes with its own risks. Salt water that runs off your paved surfaces or your roof can kill your grass or the plants in your garden. And salt can also damage your roofing materials, gutters, and other parts of your building. It’s in your best interest to look into other, more environmentally friendly ways to deal with the ice and snow. Take a look at some useful options.

Alfalfa Meal

Snow and ice
Using a de-icer that also provides traction makes walking on the ice easier.

Alfalfa meal isn’t as well known as a deicing method as salt, but it’s highly effective. In fact, alfalfa meal does more than just de-ice – it’s grainy, so it also adds traction, which is an added advantage in areas such as walkways and porches.

Another advantage is that you can use it on surfaces that line your yard and garden without fear. Alfalfa meal may not be well known as a de-icer, but it is widely recognized as a great organic fertilizer that contains many nutrients that plants need. Instead of burning your plants, like rock salt will, alfalfa meal will actually nourish them.

Sugar Beet Juice

It may sound a little odd, but the juice from sugar beets is a terrific de-icer. Like alfalfa meal, it’s safe for your plants and surfaces, and it’s non-toxic to children and pets. An added bonus? As a liquid, it requires less cleanup than salt or alfalfa meal.

But the biggest benefit to sugar beet juice is that it’s effective even in below-zero temperatures, which is something that can’t be said for many de-icers. If you live in a very cold climate and need a de-icer, sugar beet juice is the way to go. You can even keep your costs low by growing beets in your garden the summer before, and storing the juice for when you need it in the winter.

Gutter Heating

Snow and ice
Ice on the roof can be dangerous to remove.

Not all environmentally friendly de-icers are low-tech. In fact, one of the best ways to prevent ice dams on your roof is with an electric gutter heating system, like Harry Helmet’s Helmet Heat system. These systems melt snow as soon as it lands on the gutter system, preventing ice from forming in the first place.

Generally, the heating system won’t need to melt large amounts of snow at once, since it’s melting the snow as soon as it lands. Therefore, the melted snow won’t overwhelm your gutter system. What’s more, once the heating system is installed, you won’t have to do anything to melt the ice on your roof – the Helmet Heat system is self-regulating, so there’s no need to monitor it, and no need to climb onto your roof to break up ice or spread a de-icing substance on the snow. This is not only effective – it’s much safer for you than traditional de-icing methods.

For more details about the Helmet Heat system and other useful home maintenance tips, visit our website.

Written by Del Thebaud

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