With our recent ice storms, the surface of everything has been coated with ice. The predicted warmth before the snow didn't happen so we ended up with snow on top of ice on the roads, sidewalks you name it. It makes the trees look really nice and pretty, but it also is tough on many of the trees as the ice has been stripping the limbs, etc.
Once you either plow or shovel away the snow, in many cases you are left with bare ice. In the areas which are paved or that can tolerate the snow melt product I typically use has Magnesium Chloride and other snow melt products designed to be more safe for surfaces and for my K9 kids feet.
But for wooden decks and any other surface which you don't want to use the traditional ice melting products, I have found a product which works really well for "traction" and to help reduce the slip and fall on glare ice. The product is crushed quartzite and is sold as the Cherry Stone Grit brand product in our area.
This product is actually sold at the farm supply local Mill. Apparently it is commonly used by those raising chicks and chickens as they need to consume the stones and it does something to their gizzards and helps the chickens process corn and other food. The chicks eat the stones when young and it becomes a crucial part of their digestive process for the rest of their lives.
Two of the more difficult driveways I plow still had ice under the snow, despite the snow melt treatment, which made traction a challenge. The tractor spun in 4wd and slid around going up the hills. I applied a gallon of the crushed quartzite to each driveway surface area and the traction was dramatically better, I was able to drive up and down them almost as if the ice was completely gone.
As sparingly as this is applied, if you end up running it through your snow blower, you likely won't even notice it. I suppose you could apply it very heavily, but I am not sure what the benefit would be verses simply applying enough to improve traction.
The pictures show the product bag, a snow and ice covered tree outside of our entrance door just a short while ago as it was getting dark and the actual crushed quartzite material in a former milk jug which I cut the top off of to help me apply the crushed quartzite to the driveways.
- Very fine crushed quart zite granules which are angle ground for maximum traction enhancement.
- Easily applied with a fertilizer spreader or by sprinkling by hand or other methods.
- Low cost as a 50lb bag cost $6.00.
- Doesn't degrade over time and doesn't attract moisture. You can store the open bag for years and it will be useful when needed.
- Use it very sparingly, a one gallon milk jug treated the entire driveway surface which is 16' wide and 80 feet long in the areas I treated.
- Non Water soluble so the product won't break down or dissolve in the rain or when the ice softens.
- Easily removed from the surface when no longer needed by either sweeping or using blower.
- Ideal for wooden steps, decks, etc.
- Also useful in water filtration systems as well as in certain masonry finishing mixtures.
- Can be blended with snow melt products and applied to help pre-treat areas which are traction challenged under difficult conditions, before the storm arrives.
- Doesn't break down the ice or eliminate it.
- During freeze thaw cycles, additional applications may need to keep the surface treated.
- Small pieces tracked into your house can scratch flooring surface