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Top 4 Ways to Deal with Snow on Your Outdoor Spaces this Winter

Chances are good that if you own a log home, it is likely somewhere near or in a mountain and after the leaves fall, so does the snow. While it may make for a beautiful winter landscape right outside your front door, all that snow can lead to wet, slippery and icy conditions that make it treacherous for you to walk to your car or your mailbox.

Finding ways to keep your walkways, driveway and patio spaces free of snow is imperative. Not only will it keep you safer during these frigid months, but it will also minimize water damage to your walkways and decks.

Here are the top four ways that you can deal with snow on your outdoor spaces, including your driveways, walkways, and patio, this winter:

Spread Sand or Ash

This quick fix can help you cut through the ice or snow that piles up on your walkways or driveway. While it may not melt the snow or ice, it will provide some traction for you to get to and from your doorway or car without worrying about falling and breaking an arm.

Of course, spreading dirt or ash on top of white snow isn't going to look pretty. The mix is also going to stick to your shoes, so if you don't have a good matt or boot tray by your door, you're going to track it inside. Take off your shoes or thoroughly wipe them clean before you enter your home.

Throw Down Some Salt

Salt and chemical de-icers are very effective at breaking up the snow and ice and creating a clear path. This is an especially effective method for stubborn ice when the temperatures show no sign of rising.

Be judicious in your use of salt and de-icers. While they are very effective, they can also corrode concrete and other building materials -- not to mention how harmful they can be to plants or animals that come in contact with them. Save the salt and de-icers for those times you need results fast.

Install Electrical Ground Heating

One of the best ways to ensure that you have a clear path that is safe and won't cause harm to your home or wildlife is to install a heated walkway. Electric radiant heating can be installed under your current pathway, or you can build a new one.

ProMelt is a popular system, or you can opt for HeatTrak portable snow-melting mats for smaller walkways. Both are available from Warm Your Floor (www.warmyourfloor.com), as well as many other options.

Put Some Back Into It

Of course, you can always get rid of snow the old-fashion way: Shoveling it. You'll get in a workout, and you'll get rid of snow without worry about tracking dirt inside or corroding your path with salt. You'll also be outside for hours putting in grueling labor. However, it is the cheapest and the most "natural" option available. We just don't envy you if you decide to shovel!

With the colder temperatures, snow and ice are an inevitability in most places. Be prepared for how you'll handle the snow to stay safe and protect the value of your home.

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