Lawn and Snow Removal

Snow Removal Downriver Michigan: Environmental Effects of Snow Removal Methods

Snow Removal Downriver Michigan: Environmental Effects of Snow Removal Methods

Snow removal is not a choice but a must for every homeowner. Before hiring a snow removal Downriver Michigan, you need to understand the environmental effects of snow removal methods. The local authorities invest a lot towards de-icers annually to ensure the public roads and walkways are ice-free for road safety. Homeowners invest in snow removal equipment and snow services to ensure that their driveways remain snowless and create easy access to their homes. However, it has been discovered that many snow removal techniques adversely affect the environment. We will highlight more on the effects of these methods on our environment.

Snow Removal Downriver Michigan: Adverse Effects of Common Snow Removal Methods

Many common methods used by snow removal Downriver Michigan contractors are harmful to the environment. To keep the environment safe, we must invest more in environmentally-friendly snow removal options. Here are some of the methods we should take note of.

Effects of De-icers Snow Removal Method on the Environment

For ages, salt has been one of the methods used for de-icing snow. The average amount of salt used on roads annually is estimated to be 24.5 million tons by the American Geosciences factsheet. Imagine where all of it goes after winter. Rock salt works effectively. However, afterward, it enters the ground and surface water, increasing their salinity. Rock salt in our drinking reservoirs and private water affects human health. Hypertensive patients can be affected by increased sodium concentrations. This is because sodium chloride is the main component of rock salt. 

In addition, rock salt accumulated at the side of the road is harmful to animals and plants that come in contact with salt crystals. As a corrosion agent, salt can lead to the corrosion of roads, vehicles, and bridges, forcing the government to spend yearly on road repairs. Therefore, there is a serious financial impact of using salt as a means of snow removal.

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Effects of Snow Blowers on the Environment

At the end of Fall, most homeowners would begin to prepare their snow blowers for winter. However, we need to know that our carbon footprint increases each time we use snow blowers. An average two-stroke snow blower emits approximately a pound of carbon monoxide per hour. A car would emit approximately that same amount when driven for 70 miles. These are extreme numbers that should be noted and curbed more, especially during this period when the earth’s temperature is rising because of global warming.

Solutions to Harmful Snow Removal Methods Affecting the Environment

Now that we have been exposed to these harmful snow removal methods, what can be done to make snow removal options safer for the environment? Here are some options that can be applied to minimize salt usage and the emission of carbon monoxide.

Update Your Type of Snow Blower

For homeowners or snow removal services who still use gas-powered snow blowers they can be changed to using electric, hybrid, or battery-powered snow blowers. Electric snow blowers should be considered if your location does not experience much snowfall. They are cheap and easy to maintain. You can also look out for affordable battery-powered snow blowers. Note that regular maintenance of snow blowers, regardless of the type you use, can help to beat down the emissions.

Application of Brine Solution

Experts mostly recommend preventive measures rather than corrective measures. Alternating the de-icing procedure with an anti-icing procedure will help to alleviate the salt flow into the water. A brine solution with about 23,3% salt concentration can be applied on the roads before a snow event. This solution will melt the snow on contact and eliminate frost creation.

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Application of Sand Mixture

Another effective and alternative method for snow removal is mixing sand with salt while treating the roads. Though the sand will not melt the snow, it will create considerable traction for road users without the risk of slipping. However, the amount of sand used needs to be checked, so they stay on track with the snowmelt into fresh water and reservoirs. This would cause pollution.

Conclusion

Though the methods described above have minor environmental effects, they are manageable as more effective, and environmentally-friendly methods for snow removal Downriver Michigan are still being studied.