As the temperature starts to drop, it is time to start prepping for ice and snow coming our way. One thing that people often forget to prepare for, is road salt.
Road salt is obviously used to help keep the roads safe by melting snow and ice before it can become dangerous. Many homeowners use salt or salt alternatives around the house as well, to keep walkways and steps ice-free during harsh weather. Did you know that having too much salt can cause a lot of problems with your landscaping and even some home fixtures? If you want to stay on top of potential salt-related problems, here are some things to keep in mind while preparing for winter.
The Problem With Road Salt
Road salt has been used for lowering the freezing temperature of water, which prevents some of the ice buildup that can make roads hazardous. Unfortunately, road salt can also cause problems over the course of the winter.
Salt sprayed from the tires of passing cars can get into your yard, damaging or killing grass or plants near the road.
Cause corrosion on your vehicles if you live in an area where the roads are frequently salted
Can lead to both rust and paint damage as the salty water evaporates and white salt powder builds up on your car.
Salt tracked in on your tires and shoes can cause damage to concrete in your garage and on your steps
Road Salt Protection
There are a few ways to protect your home and lawn from the effects of salt during the winter.
Keep sensitive plants away from roads and driveways and plant hardier grasses in the areas that will get the most salt exposure.
If the temperature is above freezing, water the areas where salt was splashed onto your yard thoroughly to help dilute the salt.
Add lime or gypsum as well to help neutralize the salt’s effects.
Rinse your garage floor and other parts of your home thoroughly with clean water to remove possible salt buildup.
Add a layer of protection to the concrete, consider applying an epoxy-based sealant to the garage floor as well before temperatures drop too much.
Wash your car when possible if you notice salt buildup, remove it before it can cause damage.
If you’re using sidewalk salt to keep your steps clear, choose a concrete-safe salt alternative or ice melt mix to help prevent damage.
Are You Ready for Winter?
It’s important to prepare your home for the cold weather, especially when it's ice and snow. Make plans for winter and keep winterizing your home, consider speaking to roofers, HVAC pros, and others that can give you much-needed pre-winter check ups so that you won’t be caught with leaks or a broken-down heating system when the weather hits bad.