How To Remove Black Ice From Your Driveway
Black ice is a very dangerous type of ice that forms on asphalt and certain surfaces typically used in the northern part of the USA. If you’ve ever lived up there or even visited, chances are you’ve seen it and not even noticed it.
What Is Black Ice?
Black ice forms when the air has reached a freezing temperature of roughly 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and rain is either currently falling or has recently wet the roads. Essentially, the temperature of the ground causes the precipitation to freeze almost instantly thus forming ice.
It’s named black ice because it blends into its surroundings (typically asphalt) due its clear nature, basically causing it to absorb whatever color is under it.
How To Stay Safe On Black Ice
- If you drive onto ice, keep your steering wheel steady and do not hit the brakes.
- Remove your foot from the gas pedal
- Don’t overcorrect when/if you spin out or lose traction. This will cause an opposite affect and product an undesirable outcome.
Removal Step #1 – Salting or another deicer
Salt is the core component to fighting ice. Essentially sodium chloride causes a chemical reaction where it heats up causing ice to melt. You can see this in real time by putting standard table salt to ice.
We consider this the first part of ice removal, however before you ever get to that point, you need to remove the snow layer with a snow blower. If you don’t do that you have the potential to just create something like a slush which is no fun to drive in.
Removal Step #2 – Sanding
Sand is another key part to the removal process. It actually serves no purpose in ice removal, but it is key to generating increased traction in the slush and melted ice produced by step 1 and a sub-par snow layer removal.
Removal Step #3 – Stay inside and wait it out
Black ice has the ability to stay transparent because it typically is a very small ice layer. This is good and bad, good in the fact that it typically melts rather quickly once the sun is out. Bad because it is so thin it acts like camouflage.
If you want to have the greatest chance at reducing your risk of black ice, stay put and especially don’t drive around at night.
Manual Option – Use a shovel to break it up
If you have a shovel, you can smash up the black ice into chunks. It’s not really an ideal approach, but hey, if you need to get out and you don’t have ice and sand… this is an alternative option.