Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Earth Friendly and Pet Safe Ice Melt... here's Happy Paws ! (part 1)

Earth Friendly and Pet Safe Ice Melt … here's Happy Paws ! (part 1)

Every state in the U.S. has recorded snowfall at one time or another. Obviously there are many southern states that do not have any need for snow and ice removal, however, for a large portion of the country, winter snow management is a huge deal. Our lives don't stop in winter. We don't hibernate... we need to keep our roadways, driveways, and sidewalks clear and safe of the icy elements while we go about our daily activities for those cold winter months of the year.

The most commonly used and readily available ice melting product that has been used for years has always been halite, or standard rock salt. While it is a cheap way to clear your sidewalk, and make your area safe from the slippery dangers of an icy walk to your door, that could result in personal injury or some kind of lawsuit, salt is not always your best choice. Most likely it isn't a good choice at all. What many people don't realize is that rock salt, or sodium chloride, is a highly corrosive, and damaging chemical. It can wreak havoc on your concrete, kill your surrounding grass and plants, and believe it or not, harm your pets !
(to be continued)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ice dam prevention

Ice dams on the roofs of houses or other buildings can be a huge problem for people living in cold areas. When ice dams occur, water backs up behind them. As it backs up, it can work its way through cracks and under shingles. You can see it running out of soffets or through ceilings and/or walls. Additionally, it flows over the dam, forming icicles. Water can drip onto sidewalk areas and refreeze when it hits the cold surface.
There is a couple of ways to prevent ice dams from forming and causing thousands of dollars in damage. One way is to install electrical heating coils on the roof. This is a very expensive ordeal. We have found an inexpensive and environmentally safe way to prevent ice dams. There is a new product on the market called the Ice Dam Blaster. Pete, the inventor is a chemist by trade.

Ice dams do their damage when there is running water (melted snow) on the roof. This same running water is needed to activate the de-icer to form a brine and work through the ice dam.
How it works: When the de-icers dissolve in the running water, they lower the freezing point of the water. Every de-icer acts differently. The key is to use the correct material to match the intended performance. There are some products out there that can remove and prevent ice dams, however they use harmful chemical ingredients and salts that damage and corrode your roof, and kill the vegetation underneath. Roof de-icers must be non-damaging to the roofing system and the vegetation below (where it runs off). It should not stain the roof and must be easy to put in place. That is EXACTLY what the Ice Dam Blaster does. You should check these out if you have ice dams. They are very inexpensive at around $12, and very effective.

Blogging about earth friendly de-icers ...

We will be discussing “green”, de-icers here. No they are not the color green, but environmentally safe alternatives to standard rock salt that is used on our roads, driveways, parking ramps, anywhere that there is cold weather, snow and ice, and people who need to drive in it. Salt is frequently used, and is quite harmful to vegetation and waterways. We will try to keep you updated on the de-icers and ice melting products and techniques that are “earth friendly”.

Thanks for visiting !