When winter arrives, you feel it: a freezing cold, snowy, slushy season. One of the first things many people do is grab that $20 bag of salt at the nearest grocery store. In any given winter, we go through several bags of the clear pellets in hopes of reducing slips and falls by family members, relatives and friends. We think nothing of spending $20 once or many times a week on deicers for stairs, walkways and driveways to keep from falling. Just because we eat salt, does not mean that it is a good thing, in mass quantities, for the environment.
Many times I’m asked the question, “Is salt environmentally friendly?”
The answer is no. Many salt compounds used for de-icing – vehicles to airplanes – contain large amounts of chemicals that damage plants. Deicing chemicals build up and prevent nutrients from getting into soil and waterways as they are contaminated by heavy metals. Excess salt can even give grass the burnt look near the edge of the sidewalk once the snow has melted in summer and spring.
Other kinds of salt include those strewn onto streets by snow removal vehicles. The salt inside their tanks includes such chemicals like sodium chloride, calcium chloride and potassium chloride. Calcium chloride is notorious for promoting algae in our water ways. It is an undesired side effect, one that most people are unaware of. These types of salts are also corrosive and are a harmful skin irritant. Furthermore, the colder the temperature is below 32 degrees, the less effective salt is on a roadway.
What do I do instead? What’s the alternative to salt?
By eliminating salt all together, you will not only help save the environment but save yourself countless money. The permanent alternative solution to salt is a product patented for slippery conditions called Handi-Treads®. These non slip stair treads are specifically designed to be mounted to any wood or concrete surface that requires additional traction to avoid slips and falls.
Salt melts ice but the process is a slow, temporary and costly solution. Handi-Treads® stair treads provide years of durability and are sold with a lifetime residential warranty, giving you years of avoiding the trip to the store to get the $20 bag of chemical deicers and potentially a trip to the hospital from slipping on ice!
For more information on HandiTreads contact us at Handi-Ramp in the Chicago suburbs at (800) 876-RAMP or (847) 680-7700.