Fairbanks: Safeguarding Sidewalks: Navigating the Balance of Salt - Concrete Protection, Plant Preservation, and the Economics of Temperature-Effective Solutions.
AkGlobe News/10262579

~ As winter approaches, the use of salt to combat ice and snow on sidewalks is becoming increasingly common. However, it is important to be aware of the potential damage salt can cause, especially on newer features such as the 5th Ave project, where concrete less than a year old is particularly vulnerable.

Salt can lead to flaking of concrete, corrosion of metal and harm to plants. To reduce these risks and create a safer environment, there are several tips that should be followed. Firstly, it is important to reduce and choose wisely when using de-icers. Despite conflicting information on the best de-icer, it is generally accepted that less should be used whenever possible. Additionally, salts other than sodium chloride (rock salt) such as calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride or calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) should be used as they are gentler on plants and surroundings.

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Preparation is also key when using de-icers; snow should be removed as much as possible before applying de-icer in order to minimize the amount needed and enhance its effectiveness. Additionally, combining de-icer with materials such as sand can provide additional traction and reduce the overall quantity of salt required. Temperature also matters; de-icing materials should not be applied at extremely cold temperatures and if the daily high isn't reaching +5°F then sand should be used instead until warmer weather arrives.

Finally, targeted applications are essential; de-icer should only be applied to walkways while avoiding contact with landscape beds, tree wells or lawns. It is also important to consider where salt-laden runoff water will flow in order to prevent it from draining into plant areas or tree wells.

By following these practices people can contribute towards a safer winter environment while preserving infrastructure and natural elements alike. Responsible salt use ensures safety for all while minimizing environmental impact - a win-win situation for everyone involved. For more information see the Salmon-Safe Information Comparison Info-Sheet.

Filed Under: Government, City

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