Following a relatively mild winter, the UK has experienced a cold snap in the last few weeks, with many areas suffering a fair amount of snow. As such councils have sent out their trucks to spread grit on the roads and homeowners have been busy clearing their pathways.
With the weather set to remain cold for a little while longer and more snow likely; many are buying in de-icing salt to provide safety around their property. However, not everyone is clear on how to best use de-icing salt. Below are a few tips that should help you get the most from your application, whichever country you live in.
Best time to spread
The first thing you need to consider is when the best time you spread your de-icing salt is. Many are unsure as to whether they should spread prior to snow or frost arriving, or wait until the cold weather has arrived.
In order to achieve the best results it is advisable to use both approaches. First, spread quite liberally the evening before cold weather is forecast. This allows the de-icing salt to mix with the moisture and form a saline solution, which freezes at a much lower temperature than water. The optimum time to spread is usually around 5.00pm, although this can vary depending on your location. You can then add some more the following day as and when required.
Clearing excess snow
Whilst your de-icing salt will go some way to battling against snow settling on the ground; it will not stop a heavy flurry. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t undertake some spreading when a large dump has been forecast, as it will help you in the clearing process. Even if the snow settles, the saline solution will prevent it from freezing to the ground. Therefore you should be able to plough your pathways clear with minimum fuss. Once you have removed the snow, you should then apply some more de-icing salt to replace that which you may have cleared away.
When applying your salt, be sure that you achieve an even spread and cover all required areas. Using a soft-bristled sweeping brush is a great way of achieving this. You should also try your best to ensure that none of it goes on your garden lawn or flower beds. Failure to do so could damage your soil and result in grass and plants struggling to grow when the spring finally arrives.