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Sidewalks and Safety

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Sidewalks are a good way to create a safe pathway to your home. They are visually pleasing and can be used to enhance the exterior of your home. But just as importantly, they are typically considered a safe way to maneuver to your front door. That’s because they are assumed to be free of debris and obstacles that can cause someone to trip and fall, potentially causing serious injury.

In winter, sidewalks can be a little tricky due to rain, ice, and snow. These weather elements are notorious for creating slippery, hazardous surfaces. Sidewalks are especially vulnerable to this type of weather and once they become slippery, they are no longer the safe haven of entry into your home.

Prepare ahead of time to make sure your sidewalks remain safe year-round. The following tips and information will help you to create a safer environment for the exterior of your home so you can rest comfortably on the inside:

1. Slippery sidewalks are hazardous for friends, family, and other visitors and they should not be left slippery any longer than absolutely necessary.

2. If you choose to shovel or manually remove snow or ice, be sure to use caution. It takes a great exertion of energy and force to remove weather elements from sidewalks. Older people should exercise caution due to potential heart attacks and it’s always a good idea to practice safety in every situation.

3. Apply ice-melting salt especially prepared for sidewalks when necessary. The salt will cause ice to melt, creating a safer surface on the sidewalk. But be sure to use only the proper type of salt for this purpose! Using the wrong salt can damage and disintegrate your sidewalk. Check the package to make sure it is for use with the type of sidewalk you have installed.

4. Salt for sidewalks should be made from potassium chloride. This is the type of salt that melts snow and ice, but does not break down the surface of the sidewalk. It is very different from using sodium chloride which can be harmful and deteriorate the sidewalks surface.

5. Mixing potassium chloride or ‘sidewalk salt’ with sand enhances its effectiveness and the sand helps keep the sidewalk from being slippery while it is still wet. Sand is abrasive and will help avoid slips and falls when weather is wet. Don’t just use any sand though – playground sand is the best kind of sand to mix with the salt.

Your sidewalks are an important feature of your home and friends and family depend on them to safely find their way into your home. Keep them safe by taking precautions during inclement weather and avoid slippery sidewalks that can result in dangerous slips and falls.



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