Sand vs. Salt for Icy Driveways and Walkways in Southern Maine

Tractor de-icing street, spreading salt on footpath

Winter can be a tricky time of year in Southern Maine. The cold temperatures and snow can make it challenging to travel and often cause dangerous conditions on your driveway and walkways. 

Many people turn to salt or sand as a way to de-ice their driveways and walkways, but which one is the best option? Let’s find out.


The Pros & Cons of Sand

Sand provides traction on icy surfaces and can be used in conjunction with salt to provide additional grip. It’s also cheaper than salt, so it’s a good option if you’re trying to save money. 

Additionally, sand is biodegradable, so it won’t harm the environment or your plants if it gets tracked into your yard. However, sand does not actually melt the ice as salt does, so you may need to use more of it depending on how much ice you have to break up.

The Pros & Cons of Salt

Salt has been around for centuries as a way to de-ice driveways and walkways. It works by lowering the freezing point of water, which helps break up the ice faster than just using sand alone. 

Plus, salt is relatively inexpensive and easy to find at most local hardware stores or big box stores throughout Southern Maine. One downside of using salt is that it can damage plants over time because it contains toxic chemicals to vegetation if they build up too much in one area.

Other De-Icing Options

Using materials like kitty litter, sawdust, or wood ashes on icy walkways can be a great way to create traction when sand or salt isn't available. These items are less corrosive and can be more environmentally friendly than store-bought chemical de-icers like salt. When used correctly, they act as abrasives to help break up the ice and provide better footing on icy walkways and driveways. 

It’s best to spread these materials before any precipitation, but you can still use them after the ice has accumulated to help decrease your chances of slipping and falling. As an added bonus, using these natural alternatives instead of chemicals will save you money and help keep your outdoor spaces safer for kids and pets.

When dealing with icy driveways and walkways this winter season in Southern Maine, several options are available for de-icing them safely and efficiently. 

While both sand and salt have their benefits, it’s important to consider which is best for your situation before investing in either product. Ultimately, combining both products together can create an even better outcome for de-icing purposes as well as provide additional traction on icy surfaces!

For help in the greater Buxton, Maine area with your snow removal needs, contact us at Prime Cut Landscaping & Lawn Care today!

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