Snow and outdoor living
Published 01/11/22 by Ingenuity & Solutions | Last updated on February 17, 2023
Snow and frosts are meteorological phenomena that occur when the air's temperature closest to the ground falls below 0 ºC. There must be a series of local environmental conditions for them to appear: absence of wind, clear skies, atmospheric dryness, and inversion of the temperature in the air near the ground.
As a result of them, gardens and patios are the ones that suffer the most from their appearance. Plants begin to weaken their functional activity, continuing with altering their biological balances, finally reaching cell death and the destruction of plant tissues. The stems and leaves start to look blackened with the naked eye until the tissues die entirely.
They are generally produced in winter when the plants are dormant, which is advantageous because it helps them beat them better. However, some frosts occur in the spring months - late frosts detrimental to new shoots.
It is essential to be clear about how we can take care of our patio and in what ways we can remove the nine of our outdoor spaces.
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Remove snow from balconies and terraces
This step is one of the most important aspects when we have snowfall. Snow has accumulated on many balconies and terraces and on window ledges, an image that can end up posing some danger if not acted on quickly.
The structures are built to support the weight of the snow, but if it can be removed without posing a risk, it must be done since later ice will form, and it will be much more complicated.
In this way, possible greater evils are avoided, such as the structure or part of it finally giving way or the ice falling within a few days.
Shoveling snow from the yard and outdoor spaces
We all know that water freezes from 0ºC, but what happens when adding salt? Well, the freezing point drops to -21ºC. If that temperature is not reached, the water will not freeze, and we can prevent snow from accumulating. We obtain a snow removal effect, chemically called ionization, that is why You will save on using the snow shovel too much, especially in domestic areas.
That is why when winter arrives in areas where snow and ice predominate, one of the most common remedies to avoid accidents and unnecessary slips is to add salt, which contains sodium chloride, to prevent them from curdling. It can also be poured over ice and snow, melting quickly.
But in reality, the use of salt has to be controlled since it has some adverse effects that it is preferable to avoid.
Ways to remove snow from your patio
There are many techniques to remove snow and ice in your home to avoid dangerous accidents due to slipping. The most widely used method in both the public and private spheres is salt, but it is not the most recommended. We will talk about salt and two other techniques!
The best way to remove snow from any surface is to use a shovel. The work will be harder, but with it, you will avoid throwing products on the ground that could damage its composition, which could be harmful to the animals and plants that inhabit them.
With your shovel, you will not remove the ice, but the snow with low temperatures will become a slippery surface. It is preventive to prevent accumulation from becoming a significant problem during a snowfall.
One of the main alternatives to salt and chemical products to promote the thawing of surfaces is sand. It is a relatively straightforward element to obtain, although its price is much higher than salt. By depositing it on any surface, you will achieve better traction, both from your footwear and your car if you have to put your vehicle in or out of the garage and the ramp is icy.
On the other hand, the main problem with sand is that its subsequent disposal is complicated and will require more time to clean your access roads to the house and garage. In addition, during the thaw or rain, it will travel to your drains and cause blockages in your home's pipes.
It is the most used way to melt the snow and ice that accumulates on the sidewalks or entrances to garages and buildings. Its main advantage is that this mineral is simple to use and, above all, very cheap. Its effect is fast and helps avoid unnecessary accidents due to a slip.
Salt also has many disadvantages, as it is not as environmentally friendly as it should be. Salt contains ingredients that modify the mineral properties of the soil, which is why salt can affect plants and reduce their water absorption. But it is not only dangerous for plants. It can also be hazardous for those animals that feed on the vegetables that have grown in this soil that has been sprinkled with a good amount of salt because it increases its concentration of this material.
Salt is very corrosive and can oxidize metal surfaces, which is why it is especially harmful to cars that travel on roads that have been treated with sodium chloride. It is recommended if you have traveled with your vehicle on tracks where salt has been applied that you wash it thoroughly when you arrive at your destination to prevent the salt from damaging your car. In addition to your vehicle, the corrosive power of sodium chloride will affect the tiles, stone, and wood surfaces of your home. In some northern European cities such as Berlin, salt to dissolve ice and snow is prohibited, so its citizens must resort to other alternative methods.
Tips to consider
In homes, all pipes, meters, and valves in areas exposed to cold air or snow, or in cold areas of homes, such as basements and attics, must be insulated.
In the case of houses with a garden or patio with hoses, the hose must be disconnected from the tap, and the section of pipe that runs from the valve to said tap should be emptied of water so that the water does not freeze. May lead to pipe rupture. Inside the houses, the taps can be left open so that a constant drip of warm water falls in the moments of lower temperature so that the circulating water does not freeze.
In empty homes, where you do not reside on these dates, it is advisable to empty the water in the pipes. To do this, close the general stop valve and open all the taps until you are sure that there is no water in the pipes.
Infield networks, it must be verified that there is no section of the network in the open, and in that case, it must be suitably covered or isolated. In addition, all the meter and valve maintenance holes must be covered, ensuring that there are no holes in the walls through which cold air or snow can penetrate. Meters and valves must also be insulated to prevent freezing and breaking.
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If you want to remodel your outdoor spaces, Gmoscape Contractor has qualified professionals who will evaluate what material is suitable for your garden or terrace to help you with your project and guide your decision. For more information, contact us and get a free quote.