Snow and Ice Melt Alternatives for 2019

Man in yellow coat pouring salt on snowy road

How to Melt Snow Without Salt: Snow Melt Alternatives

Harsh salts damage concrete and the environment. Fortunately, there are several natural snow and ice melt alternatives you can use this winter instead. 

Every winter, especially after a few good snow storms, we tend to ask ourselves those life-changing questions: 

How do I melt snow and ice without shoveling? 

How do I melt ice and snow without salt? 

Are there any realistic alternatives to shoveling and that annoying salt? 

Well, here are your answers.

The Problems with Calcium Chloride Snow Melt (Rock Salt)

While snow and ice melting salt is an easy way to eliminate dangerously slippery driveways, it poses notable risks. It is not biodegradable, meaning it sticks around long after the snow is gone. It can negatively impact soil, vegetation, groundwater, surface water, and even air. 

  1. Snow melt can be significantly detrimental to concrete. The harsh salts break chemical bonds that keep concrete strong. This results in damaged concrete on driveways that will require costly repair and replacement much earlier. 
  2. Snow and ice melting salts can be dangerous to pets or young children. When ingested, the salts can cause painful stomach distress. Snow melt can dry out and crack your pets’ paws, putting them at risk for infection. 
  3. Snow melt can cause serious damage to your yard and landscaping, as well as the environment. As snow melts, the runoff containing harsh salts can kill grass and other plants. 
  4. The salts may also run off into your local water system, which can compromise the area’s water quality. 

Luckily, many safe alternatives exist for melting away that pesky snow. These options are more environmentally-friendly and will protect little ones (both human and animal) who come into contact with them. 

Snow Melt Alternatives

  • Coffee Grounds
  • Sugar Beet Juice
  • Vinegar
  • Homemade Solution
  • Baking Soda
  • Wood Ash
  • Organic, Salt-Free De-Icer
  • Alfalfa Meal
  • Snow Melting Mats

Let’s take a closer look at each of these snow melt alternatives:

Coffee Grounds

Have a coffee maker in your kitchen? Instead of throwing away the leftover coffee grounds, apply them to your driveway after shoveling. This helps to melt ice quickly due to the acidity within the coffee grounds. This will also add some needed grit for those walking on the driveway, which will help prevent slips and falls. Because the grounds are a dark color, they also naturally attract more sunlight and warmth. 

Sugar Beet Juice

Beet juice works by lowering the melting point of ice and snow. Because it’s a liquid, it requires no clean up. It’s 100% natural and poses absolutely no risk to concrete, pets, or the environment. Additionally, beet juice is one of few ice melting options that works even in sub-zero temperatures! Admittedly, it’s not the cheapest option available, but it is very kind on the environment, which is a huge bonus.

Vinegar

Instead of pouring straight vinegar on your driveway, it’s a good idea to mix equal parts water and vinegar in a large bucket and then pour it on the snow-covered area. This solution will not be the strongest snow melt choice, but it is nonetheless effective. Just make sure that you don’t allow the liquid to freeze again. Remove any remaining ice or water puddles with a shovel or a push broom. 

Homemade Solution

Why not try creating your own DIY solution made from a few common, inexpensive household ingredients? Here’s all you’ll need:

  • A Bucket
  • Half-Gallon of Hot Water
  • Six Drops of Dish Soap
  • ¼ Cup of Rubbing Alcohol

Simply mix it all together and pour your homemade ice melt solution onto the driveway. You can also put the solution into a spray bottle and apply it that way, if you only have a small area you want to treat, such as a small porch. 

Baking Soda

If you’re in a pinch, you can even use baking soda as ice melt! This is one many people haven’t considered, but because it’s a kind of salt, it will lower the temperature of the ice, slowly turning it to water. It is also much softer on the concrete than the corrosive properties of the traditional calcium chloride salt. 

Wood Ash

Wood ash is a good snow melting solution if you have a wood-fueled fireplace. Instead of throwing the wood ash away, simply gather it and use it as a slow-acting melt solution. It contains potassium, which is why it works. As with the coffee grounds, the dark color attracts more sunlight, which enhances its melting ability. 

Organic, Salt-Free De-Icer

This option is a more expensive alternative to traditional snow melt. However, it offers all the same convenience as calcium chloride ice melt without the damaging risks to your property and family. 

Alfalfa Meal

Alfalfa meal is commonly used as fertilizer. It contains nitrogen, but not enough to risk harm to plants or your local water system. Alfalfa meal has a dry, grainy texture that can provide traction while it goes to work melting snow and ice. 

A Word About Sand 

Many people believe that sand can effectively melt snow like ice melt. However, this isn’t really the case. The reason people often suggest sprinkling sand is to provide greater traction after a great snowfall. This reduces the chance of a major injury due to a fall, keeping you safe while  you’re out shoveling. 

However, the sand will likely melt the snow to a small degree, although it may need to be reapplied several times. You can use birdseed or kitty litter for better traction as well, although they won’t offer much in terms of actually melting the snow. 

Snow Melting Mats

And now, on to our favorite way to effortlessly melt snow and ice: Summerstep Snow Melting Mats from Powerblanket!
electric snow melting mat summerstep mat
No more shoveling! Ever! (Now that sounds nice!)

Did you know heated mats for snow removal even existed? If not, you’re not alone! But they are slowly catching on as the shoveling alternative that really works!

Summerstep Snow Melting Mats eliminate the need for labor-intensive shoveling (which can be strenuous and incredibly time-consuming.) They provide peace of mind and more relaxation all winter long. They also keep you safe any time you walk outside after a snowfall.

These heated mats are incredibly easy to maintain – just lay them out once and keep them in place all winter! All you have to do during each snowfall is simply plug them in. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Powerblanket offers both Summerstep industrial mats and residential melting mats. They can be made custom to fit your exact needs. They can also be linked together to fit any size or shape of porch, walkway, driveway, or stairs. 

Ready for an easier winter season?

Learn more about our Summerstep Snow Melting Mats. Give our snow removal experts a call today at 866.945.4203.

 

 


Best Snow Shovels, and Show Shoveling Alternatives for 2019

Did you know that slips and falls account for over 1 million visits to the hospital per year? That’s no small number! 

Keeping winter walkways clear and dry should be a top priority of any business in order to protect both employees and customers. The responsibility to keep sidewalks and driveways clear also falls on homeowners. In both cases, a slip or fall by another individual could result in a fracture, bone break, bruised head – and sometimes, even a lawsuit. Ouch. 

Maybe you’re just sick and tired of your hum-drum snow shovel that could definitely use an upgrade. But with so many snow removal products on the market, it can be difficult to decide which will best get the job done. 

In preparation for the winter weather (which is coming way too quickly) we’ve compiled a list of the best available snow shovels – and another premium removal option – based on ease of use, durability, and effectiveness. We have listed the price and supplier of each to make the research process easier as well. We hope this helps you find the best option to fit your needs!

1. Garant: Poly Snow Sled

GARANT POLY SNOW SLED EPSS24U

The Garant Poly Snow Sled features an easy-to-push, light-weight design and deep sides that allow for the easy removal of large amounts of snow. Once full, loads of snow can be easily transported by tilting up the shovel and pushing to the desired destination. Users praise this shovel for its easy-to-use design that significantly reduces strain on arms, shoulders, and back.

2. The Snowplow Poly Snow Pusher, 48″

The Snowplow Poly Snow Pusher

Above all, users love the Snowplow Poly Snow Pusher for its high-quality, durable construction. This shovel will hold up against even the heaviest, wettest snowfall – no bending or breaking! While not ideal for lifting snow, it is perfect for pushing snow to the edges of driveways and other large surfaces without leaving damage. Because this shovel is so wide, it may quickly become heavy as it fills with snow.

3. Aerocart Snow Plow

Aerocart Snow Plow

Like the first two shovels listed, the Aerocart Snow Plow is designed for “pushing” snow rather than shoveling and lifting. Like other shovels, the push design saves shoulders and backs from excessive strain. This snow plow features an easy-to-assemble design. Because the sides of this shovel are open (no “wall” on the edge) snow begins to fall out once it becomes full, making it best for use during lighter snow falls.

4. Ames True Temper 1603400 Mountain Mover Snow Shovels, Combo-Ergonomic, 18 Inch Blade

Ames True Temper 1603400 Mountain Mover Snow Shovel

This smaller shovel is designed for shoveling and lifting snow. It features an ergonomically- curved handle designed to reduce back strain. The Ames True Temper Mountain Mover is lightweight, yet sturdy. The blade of the shovel is reinforced with a sturdy strip rather than metal; this prevents damage a metal strip may inflict on cars and other sensitive surfaces.

5. Ames True Temper 20″ Polypropylene Combo Shovel W/ VersaGrip

Ames True Temper 20" Polypropylene Combo Shovel with VersaGrip

The Ames True Temper Polypropylene Combo Shovel is not designed to be lightweight. It is perfect for breaking through hard ice and packed snow. The edge features a sturdy metal blade. The handle is slightly bent, which reduces how far you have to bend over to lift the snow.

6. Razor-Back 7-inch Forged Sidewalk Scraper

This sidewalk ice scraper is ideal for breaking through a stubborn piece of ice (or several, more likely.) While not generally used for snow removal, it is great for clearing ice from walkways, driveways, and business entries. It comes with a forged steel blade and a strong hardwood handle. It’s a handy tool to have in addition to a shovel.

HEATED SNOW-REMOVAL OPTIONS

Now let’s check out heated snow-removal options.

A question many business and home owners have asked is “Do Heated Snow Shovels Exist?”

The idea of creating a heated snow shovel has been tossed around over the last few years, but it has not really caught on. The idea of using heat to aid in snow removal is brilliant, but in shovel form…It just doesn’t quite pan out. 

One main issue would be the fact that as the snow melts in the shovel, it would become wet, heavy slush – ultimately making it way more difficult to remove. 

In addition, the water left on the driveway after shoveling would likely turn to ice after being left for a few hours. 

The shovel would most likely be heated through batteries in the handle. This would only add to the weight of the shovel, causing more strain to the back, arms, neck, and even heart. So that’s a no-go!

But wait! Let’s check out the heated snow-removal option that really does deliver awesome results!

 

7. Summerstep Snow Melting Mat – The Best Snow Shovel Alternative

Snow Shovel Alternative summerstep snow melting mats

Maybe you’re thinking “Honestly, I’m just sick and tired of shoveling. Are there other snow-removal options I can check out?” The answer is YES. 

It’s time to consider an easier option – created with heated technology that really works!

An alternative to any snow shovel is the Summerstep Snow Melting Mat. Summerstep heated mats are designed to be left outside all winter long, can be custom made to fit any location, and will melt approximately 2 inches of snow per hour while operating! These heated mats are ideal for both residential and business applications. 

These premium snow melting mats eliminate time-consuming shoveling and de-icing, reduce the risk of experiencing heart-attack triggers while shoveling, and prevent slips on ice that could cause serious injury. 

Choose a Powerblanket Summerstep Snow Melting Mat for Your Snow-Removal Needs

Save time. Avoid hassle. Have Greater Peace of Mind.

Whether you’re looking for business or residential snow melting mats, Powerblanket is here to help. Relax a bit more this winter – Choose our Summerstep Heated Mats for your snow-removal needs.

Give our ice and snow-melting team a call today at 801.945.4203.


What is Powerblanket?

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Welcome To Powerblanket

The Powerblanket family began our journey back in 2005.  Since then, our patented, American-made temperature control products have solidified our expertise the industrial heating and cooling community. We excel at helping the industrial and manufacturing community get back to work. 

With our ever-expanding range of customizable heating during the winter, and cooling during the summer, Powerblanket helps businesses stay operational year-round. By finding new ways to remove temperature roadblocks, Powerblanket empowers companies to preserve workplace safety, prolong equipment life, prepare for emergencies, and get back to work.

Powerblanket infographic on the temperature control products offered

 

Industrial Heating from Powerblanket

We are the leading provider of standard and custom-designed industrial heating blankets. No matter what industry you’re in, Powerblanket can help you improve your business. We have created custom heating solutions for companies all over the world. Our blankets are extremely versatile and can be used across a wide variety of industries. 

Powerblanket infographic showing industries served by temperature control

If you can build it, haul it, or store it…we can heat it. Because pre-fabricated options are not always a good fit, our engineers are at the ready to create tailor made heating to spec. We specialize in engineering custom solutions for even the trickiest of heating problems. Powerblanket has the quickest lead time in the market for custom products. First, our world-class engineering team learns your specific heating needs. Next, we provide you with your custom quote within 1-3 days. Then, we deliver your custom heating products within 3 weeks. 

How Our Products Work

Our heating blankets save you time, energy, and money by putting the heat precisely where it is needed. After a simple installation, you are now harnessing the power of conduction and heating your materials with direct and even heat. Our advanced weather-proof insulation provides a protective barrier from the elements and reduces heat loss. We then combine insulation with efficient heating elements to direct heat downward right into the item that needs heating instead of losing it to the ambient air.

Powerblanket diagram showing even heating in our concrete curing blankets

Powerblanket Product Families

Barrel and Bucket Heaters

Protect your fluid storage during the winter with a wide range of drum, barrel, and bucket heaters.  Direct, evenly distributed heat eliminates hot and colds spots, solves viscosity issues, and prevent your fluids from freezing. We also provide a range of specially calibrated blankets for coconut oil, honey, and wax. These blankets are programmed to stay within the exact temperatures these specific fluids need.

Tote and DEF Tote Heaters

For larger volume industrial fluids, these specially designed tote heating blankets are perfectly sized and shaped for steel, poly, and DEF totes. Our tote heaters protect the chemical composition of your fluids while still giving you pump access during winter conditions.

Gas Cylinder Heaters

When gas tanks drop in temperature, the pressure of their contents drops as well. As a result, it very difficult to get any gas flow from a tank during the winter. Gas cylinder warmers evenly and safely heat the cylinder so that flow rate increases and operations can continue running.

Bulk Material Heaters

How do you heat multiple containers of all shapes and sizes, or bulky pallets of materials? Hot box bulk material warmers provide even heating to anything stored within.

Ground Thawing Blankets

Frozen ground can bring a number of industries to a full halt during the winter. During sub-freezing temperatures, our high powered ground thaw blankets direct heat deep into the frost line to prep ground for digging, utility work, concrete pouring, and more.

Concrete Curing Blankets

Winter concreting is notoriously difficult. Construction heating can have a huge impact on jobs, deadlines, and the overall bottomline. From roofing, to spray foam, painting, and concrete, so many aspects are affected by the weather. Curing problems can derail entire construction projects and cause costly delays. Our concrete curing blankets provide heat, insulation, and cure concrete 2.8x faster than conventional insulation blankets. Electric concrete blankets are hands down the most efficient solution for strong and fast winter concrete curing.

Snow Melting Safety Mats

Free your hands and your time during the winter by setting your snow shovel aside. Simply lay down our Summerstep snow and ice melting mats on your doorway, stairs, and walkways. In addition, Summerstep mats provide traction and reduce injuries from slips and falls all winter long.

Smart Controllers

For an added level of control and automation, our Beacon Smart Controllers put temperature control at your fingertips. With the user friendly app, you have access to continuous remote temperature monitoring. You can also set heating schedules and receive temperature alerts right from your phone or tablet.

Industrial Cooling from North Slope Chillers

Our North Slope Chillers line represents the flip-side of our total temperature control expertise. Our industrial chillers, Fluxwrap fluid channel blankets, Keg Coolers, and Ice Wraps provide the perfect cooling solutions for when the heat is high.

Total Temperature Control

When your business feels the sting of wasted revenue through equipment damage, product loss, or the financial crunch of the “off season” due to unworkable climate conditions, Powerblanket has the solution. With Powerblanket, there is no “off season.” Contact us to find the perfect temperature control solutions to keep your work flowing at 855.993.6294 or [email protected]

 

Learn More About Powerblanket