Ice Melter or Not?

By  | 

With all this snow, many of us were up early to shovel it. You may have also used some type ice melt product to tackle the icy spots. KKTV talked to some experts on how to best use these products.

Any type of ice melt can damage your grass or concrete over time. But falling on an icy sidewalk is also dangerous. That's why so many people were out shoveling early Monday morning. "It melts and gets real slippery. I feel bad for people walking by,” says Melissa Eichers as she shoveled her walk.

A snow blower makes the work easier, but it can't clear the snow everywhere. Bob Knapp also reluctantly uses an ice melt. "I've noticed in the one place I use it, I have a very pitted sidewalk. That one slab needs replacement."

The experts agree. Any type of ice melt with salt or magnesium chloride can be harmful to concrete, grass and shrubs. That's why if you use it, you should do it carefully. "Don't use a fertilizer spreader---it's going to go everywhere. Get it in the grass & shrubs and it’ll cause harm. Do it by hand. Do it controlled,” says Gary Robinson of Big Dog Landscaping.

You should also get rid of the ice melt as soon as you can. "Once the snow's gone or on a warm day. either hose or sweep it off so you don't have that salt deposit eating up your concrete,” says Robinson.

In spite of the damage ice melt can cause, Robinson does recommend using it. "You can watch people trip and fall. Cars slide into each other because of ice. It's a good safety precaution. As long as you do it correctly, the good outweighs the negatives.”

And if you’re worried about your grass and shrubs, get an ice melt product with lower contents of salt and magnesium chloride.