Nobody enjoys going out into the cold and scraping the snow and ice off of their driveways and sidewalks. You can limit the number of times you have to put yourself through this torture through the winter by installing your own brine water dispensing units around your driveways and sidewalks.
Install the System
Run a sprinkler system along the driveway and sidewalks that you would like to keep free of ice. Instead of connecting the sprinkler system to your water main, you will be connecting it to a heated water tank that is filled with brine water. In order for the brine water to be effective, you must use hot water to make the mixture and keep it heated at all times. If you are inexperienced with installing a sprinkler system and plumbing the water lines, contact a local sprinkler system installation company like Turfbuilders Irrigation Inc for help.
Make the Brine Water
In the hot water holding tank, mix three parts water to one part rock salt. Stir the mixture until the salt is completely dissolved. The hotter you keep the water, the more easily the salt is to dissolve. You can increase water temperature while mixing and then knock it down a few degrees to save on energy costs.
Note: Install a small filter or screen at the nozzle where the brine water is dispensed. This will prevent salt that is not completely dissolved from entering the sprinkler system and clogging it up.
Cleaning the Sprinkler Heads
Over time, the sprinkler heads could become clogged with a build-up of salt and debris. This will require some attention. To clean the sprinkler heads, choose a day that temperatures are mild. The colder the sprinkler system is, the more fragile it will be, making it very easy to break.
Turn off the brine water flow to the system. Remove the sprinkler heads and soak them in a bucket of VERY hot water. The hot water will break down the salt and make cleaning them easier. As the heads soak, go to each connecting point and inspect the screens for blockages. You may need to replace the screens at each sprinkler head from time to time to keep the brine water flowing freely.
After the water you are soaking the sprinkler heads in has cooled, remove the heads and use a stiff brush to clean them. This will remove any remaining salt and open them up to dispense brine water evenly.
Before the weather hits, turn your brine water sprinkling system on for several minutes. Allow it to run until the driveway and sidewalks are completely coated with brine. When the snow and ice hits, the brine will keep it from freezing on the surfaces. This will take much of the work out of your winter upkeep.