Household Safety Tips: Preventing Ice Around The House

Ice is one safety hazard that you don't want to see around your house. Find out how to remove it and also prevent it with these tips and instructions.

Ice is one slippery hazard of cold weather that's best avoided whenever possible. It can cause you to have slips and falls that can result in serious injuries. You might think of ice as forming around the outside of your house only when it snows outside. Oftentimes, snow does turn into ice in your driveway, for example, when it's packed down from the weight of vehicles being driven across it. Ice can also form on sidewalks and on outside patios when snow melts in the heat of the sun, then refreezes at night.

You can prevent this type of ice from forming by keeping your driveway, sidewalks, patios, and other areas cleared of snow. You can use a shovel or a snow thrower or blower to do the job nicely. Then, to prevent ice from forming, sprinkle the areas with either salt or an ice melting product.

But, beware! If your driveway, et cetera, is constructed of concrete or cement, applying salt to it will cause the surface to crumble and erode away! This damage can happen more so if the concrete or cement is relatively new. Salt should only be used on gravel or other rocky areas.

Salt thaws ice if the temperature is high enough, and keeps it from refreezing. Because once salt hits it, a chemical reaction takes place. Once the ice is thawed and has turned to water, the salt mixes in with it. The salty water doesn't freeze because it has a much lower freezing temperature than water does.

But it doesn't take a snowfall to create ice. Ice can form anytime there is a source of water coupled with a freezing, or below thirty two degree Fahrenheit, (or zero Celsius) temperature. This process can create icy build ups around your house. For example, if the gutters and downspouts on your house are clogged with leaves, tree branches, and other debris, this can cause icy patches to appear around the outside of your house. How? The way it happens is, that the clogged gutters harbor drain water from the roof. Once the gutters fill up with water, it will flood over the sides of the gutters. This water will lay on the ground, sidewalks, patios, et cetera. Then, when the temperature dips below freezing, this water will turn into ice around your house.

One way to remedy this problem is to keep your gutters and downspouts free from leaves, tree branches, and other debris. If you have a lot of tree branches that hang over the roof of your house, you might consider installing guards on all of your gutters. And, you should also think strongly about having the tree branches trimmed back and out of the way.

Another problem that can cause a lot of ice around the outside of your house involves another drainage problem. This type of drainage problem stems from having an inadequate slope in your yard. Instead of the land being sloped so the water runs away from your house, the water runs towards your house. It then either finds its way inside, or, it's dammed up against the foundation of your house. This water can also lay in puddles and mini ponds in low lying areas of your yard.

To help remedy this situation, you should fill in the low lying areas with top soil. If a problem still persists, then you'll need to contact a professional excavator. He can take a look at your yard and pinpoint problem areas.

To sum it all up, in order to avoid having ice around your house, you'll need to treat snow and ice with salt or an ice control product. You'll also need to keep your gutters and downspouts free and clear. And finally, you'll need to control the slope of your land so water runs away from it.

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