Tip One: Stakeout
Snow plows aren’t concerned about the sidewalk, unfortunately. Their main job is to get your parking lot cleared for the next day’s business. In order to keep the plows from sluicing snow and slush onto the sidewalks, stake it out. If you can’t plant stakes on the concrete parking lot, then use orange traffic cones or upside-down trash barrels. The plows will then sluice the slush somewhere else.
Tip Two: The Right Stuff
Someone will be shoveling the sidewalk, so they’ll need the right stuff. It’s a temptation to pick up a cheap shovel, since it’s only used a few times a year. However, that cheap shovel will mean a hurt back, shoulders and arms for whoever is shoveling. Invest in a sturdy S-shaped shovel for shoveling as well as a sturdy C-shaped shovel for pushing the snow and chipping at the ice underneath. A doctor won’t thank you, but the person shoveling will.
Tip Three: More of the Right Stuff
Everyone knows by now the dangers of sodium and calcium chlorides on our waterways, wildlife, plants and the water table. Rock salt is often used as a replacement, but it’s no better for the environment. However, a product called urea, a fertilizer, won’t eat away at the concrete sidewalks and is better for the environment. You might have to locate a co-op to find it, but it’s a better bet than salts. Be sure to keep it in an airtight container to keep it dry.
Tip Four: The Right Kind of Traction
Your customers won’t wind up in the wrong kind of traction from slipping on your sidewalk if you use sand once the ice has been removed. You could also use alfalfa meal, also a fertilizer. Make sure you sweep up and bag up the sand after its usefulness is over, because it can get into the drains and mess up the waterways just like salts. As with the urea, make sure the alfalfa meal is kept in a sealed container to keep it dry.
Tip Five: Mats
If you’re a new business owner who can’t yet afford such luxuries as eco-friendly snow and ice melting products, then you’ll need to shovel soon and often. However, you can keep the sidewalk passable by putting out your welcome mats, the mats from the floor of your car, the welcome mat from home in addition to any other floor mat you can get your gloved hands on. Sand will get tracked onto your floors, yes, but your customers will be able to traverse your sidewalk safely.
New business owners often don’t know where to turn for help. Chapel Valley Landscaping has helped new business owners with landscaping as well as snow and ice removal for almost 50 years. Feel free to contact us for more tips and tricks for sidewalk safety this winter.