Icy walkways are hazardous, even deadly. Slip and fall accidents are real hazards during the winter. Particularly if you have a lot of people coming by--if your property in Smyrna is on the market, for instance--you need to take reasonable precautions to make sure that people are safe.

That being said, a lot of people worry about using deicers on their sidewalks and stairs due to the environmental hazards that some of them pose. There’s good news in that there are deicing products that aren’t nearly as environmentally detrimental as is rock salt and, of course, sometimes a shovel, a broom, and a bit of effort are sufficient to keep walkways safe.

Choose Your Deicer

Rock salt is generally the worst option for deicing walkways. The environmental drawbacks are immediately visible in ways that might detract from the appeal of your property. Rock salt can kill plants, it damages concrete, and it can destroy metal. When it drains away with runoff, it poses equally great hazards to waterways.

Calcium magnesium acetate is a good choice if you want to avoid rocksalt. It won’t destroy your walkways or plants and it doesn’t pose any known hazards to wild plants and animals. It works down to very low temperatures; far lower than Georgia is likely to see.

Potassium and sodium chloride are options that are rated as safe for people and pets, but not for plants, making it a bad second choice for anyone who puts time into their landscaping. If you’ve put a lot of effort into landscaping your property in Smyrna, in fact, avoid potassium and sodium chlorite and, most certainly, avoid rock salt.

Calcium chloride is another popular option, but it’s not safe for children or pets.

Things to Keep in Mind

Watch the weather and put out deicer before it snows or before rainwater turns into ice. Putting more deicer on a surface will not make the deicer work better. It only requires a thin, sparse layer to deice surfaces.

If the surface you want to deice is snow-covered, be sure to shovel or sweep it off first. The deicer should be on the surface that you’re trying to keep safe, not the snow on top of that surface.

There are good options out there for keeping your walkways safe for visitors. Some of those options are environmentally much safer than the products available in the past. They won’t destroy concrete or flagstone, either so, when the snow melts, your walkways and landscaping will still be in good repair.

If you need help preparing your house for showings, remember that we will know what to expect and what you can do to make sure buyers get the best possible impression of your home!