So lets talk a bit about walking on ice. Ice and concrete are very unforgiving, so I am always careful on what I wear on the days I know I might encounter ice. I always wear shoes or boots that have a very aggressive tread on them, so that means I leave the dress shoes and high-heels in the closet! I have had some success with slip-on treads that are made for ice encounters, but they are often cumbersome and make walking even more dangerous. Also when I am walking on Ice, I walk slowly and with a wide stance, keeping my center of gravity low, and always keep my hands out of my pockets, to use for balance and to brake my fall. (I am too old to tuck and roll anymore.) There are also many situations that sneak up on us, like getting in and out of our vehicles, so those are the times to be the most aware of ice!
I also wanted to take a little time to discuss ice-melters, as I often see multiple kinds available in stores, and sometimes they have misleading packaging. For instance, bags will sometimes say "Magnesium blend ice melter" or a blend of some sort. Avoid these blends unless the label specifies exactly what that blend is, as it may contain chemicals in that blend that are harmful to your concrete, plants, or pets! Here is a personal break-down of ice-melters I have personal experience with and some pros and cons of each.
Sand: Often used by gardeners because it will not harm plants, animals, or concrete. Great for traction but often tracks on your shoes, bringing sand indoors where it will damage wood floors and carpeting. Caution should still be used as the ice still exists. It may be better to use nothing at all as opposed to this messy product.
Salt, (Sodium Chloride, Na Cl): Very cost effective ice melter, but is toxic to pets, animals, and humans if ingested or skin contact. Damages concrete and only works to around 20 degrees.
Calcium Chloride: Often expensive ice melter that works well, even down to temperatures down to minus 20 degrees. Although, it is unsafe for pets and humans, and can damage concrete and plants if not used carefully.
Magnesium Chloride: This ice melter works fast and is a favorite amongst grounds departments for its fast action and cold temperature activation. Works down to 5 degrees. Is toxic to humans and pets and will often track indoors.
Potassium Chloride: Another grounds maintenance favorite because it is very gentle on plants if used correctly, and is the lowest tracking material. Only works down to around 20 degrees. Toxic to pets, humans, and wildlife.
Organic/Pet Safe Ice melters: I have some experience with these ice melters, and none have been very good. These may help speed the process of natural melting, but little more. It is nice to see a product that is safe for pets, but I fear these products do little more than put pet lovers concern at ease. I prefer to not use anything at my home for the safety of my dog, and the surroundings.
Maddie: After a long day of snow shoveling...