Winter becomes a lot less fun when you become an adult. Say goodbye to carefree snow days, and hello to actually dealing with the snow and ice that ends up covering your car, yard, and driveway in the winter. Sadly, these responsibilities aren’t going to go away, so we thought we’d put together a winter weather survival guide to make the winter a little more enjoyable.
You can walk into almost any convenience store in the winter and find a multitude of de-icing products, but which one should you choose? While this mostly depends on what material you’ll be placing it on, whether you have pets, etc., there’s a few things to keep in mind no matter what. First, a little goes a long way. Make sure to read the instructions on how much to use, because it is easy to overdo it. Using the correct amount will reduce buildup of the product, which would prevent its ability to wash away (which can lead to damage of your driveway/sidewalk).
If you’re interested in natural products (coffee grounds, kitty litter) that add traction but do not melt the ice, a good idea is to mix it with your deicer product to minimize the amount you would need to use. Lastly, a major factor to consider with any product if you are placing it on concrete is the age of your concrete. If for example it was laid within the last six months, it can be damaged quite a bit by your deicer product.
If you didn’t get ahead of a winter storm and lay your deicer product beforehand, you may think you’re out of luck. However, there are a few homemade remedies you can use to get you out the door quickly. One solution is salt water; let ¼ cup of table salt dissolve in a quart of water and pour it over that pesky ice on your walkway. This will quickly melt the ice and help prevent freezing since salt has a lower freezing point than water. This is also true for rubbing alcohol, which you could pour or spray over ice in a pinch.
Tips and Tricks
We all have different things that annoy us about winter. Here are some hacks to avoid a few of them:
• Cleaning off your car: avoid wasting time doing this every morning by placing a tarp, towel, or old blanket on your windshield at night. There are also specially made products that can make this task even simpler.
• Shoveling every few hours for the dog: some dogs, especially smaller breeds, really don’t like tromping through the snow. Instead of going out with them to shovel or sweep, lay a tarp down before it snows, and then move it for a snow-free spot for your pup to do his business.
• Wet feet: if your shoes get soaked through while shoveling or playing in the snow, then odds are you won’t be out there very long. Prevent this by putting plastic bags over your socks before putting your boots on.