Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Like Ice In My Drinks, Not On My Driveway

I need help, Dear Readers.  Due to the stormy winter weather over the past few days, the pavement which makes up our longer-than-normal driveway and the "parking pad" in front of our garage is now for all intents and purposes an ice-skating rink.  The only thing giving it any traction at all is the thin dusting of snow on top of it.  And we have no idea what to do about it.

We don't like using salt or ice-melt due to environmental reasons, but even if we were willing to do so in this instance, we can't 'cause the puppies play on the parking pad and eat the snow around it.  (I don't know why, but they seem to prefer eating snow to drinking water.  Maybe they're hot.)  And our resident rabbits hop across pad and driveway constantly.  "Pet-safe" ice melt quite frankly doesn't work very well, and is prohibitively expensive for such a large area besides.  And I'm not sure how "safe" it would be in such large amounts.  On top of all this, the ice is too thin for our ice breaker tool to get any kind of bite, so we can't remove it manually, either.

Do any of you who grew up in real winters have any advice?  Native Canadians?  American Yankees?  Russians?  Swedes?  Mongolians?  Is there any way to get it off before the Spring thaw, or do we just need to give up and buy ourselves (and the dogs) ice skates?

This Texas girl and her South Carolina/Florida husband are stumped.


Myst Panther said...

Have you considered not necessarily melting the ice, but just putting sand down to restore traction? Not salt and sand, but just sand? It might be a more workable solution. We've also used coarse sawdust in the past to restore traction to iced driveway/parking area.

CousinLinda said...

Hey Myst Panther! Thanks for the response and the good idea! We were actually thinking about sand when we got more snow. At this point, the puppies have ground the snow into the ice and made a fairly rough surface. (I had no idea two 100-lb dogs running over it constantly would do that!) The driveway, which they don't get to play on, gets sun whenever there is any, so it's not nearly as bad as the parking pad at the back of the house.