Can Rock Salt Hurt My Lawn? Yes, But...

A home or business owner can spread safe rock salt on their pavement without hurting their yard.Winter is here, and with it, the snow and ice that can be so beautiful. This beauty can, unfortunately, be a problem for walking or driving safely during the winter months. No one wants to slip and get hurt, so many turn to salt to solve this problem. But what salt do you use? Why? Does it have the effect you want? 

This article is all about the salt you use on your walk, driveway, or parking lot and the effect it can have on your lawn. 

How Does Salt Work on De-Icing Your Driveway and Walk?

Many people believe that salt melts ice or snow. WRONG! Instead of melting the ice, salt changes the chemical makeup of the water molecules. Under normal conditions, water will freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When you add salt, the freezing point goes lower. So if you add salt but still have ice on your driveway or walk, it is still too cold outside!

1. Lack of Moisture

One of the main impacts of salt is to draw water out of an area. If salt spills over from your driveway to your lawn, your soil will have the moisture drawn out of its roots. Though salt would draw moisture out of active grass blades, during the winter, these blades are dormant. However, the soil and the grass or tree roots can still be harmed. 

2. Toxic Exposure

Salt breaks down in water to its molecular level, ionizing the water. These ions block calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients from getting to the plant. Instead, it absorbs Chloride to the point where it can no longer photosynthesize. Then the grass starves and your lawn will begin to wither. 

3. Longevity of Salt in Your Soil

Naturally, there is a small amount of salt in your soil. This level of salt rises with regular fertilization. Small flakes of salt won’t matter, but too much extra salt will strain your soil. Your soil will also retain the salt for years to come. This salted area won’t be able to grow new crops and will require rain and additional watering to bleed it out.

Take Care of Your Snow and Ice this Winter Without Destroying Your Yard

Though you can’t stop your local government from spreading whatever salt they will spread, there are some things you can do to protect your yard. Consider installing a snow fence to block the salt from getting onto your lawn. Also, you could try other ice-melts. Here at Independent Lawn Service, we provide Snow and Ice removal services for businesses in the Livonia area. If you need extra help with keeping your area plowed or want to know how to support your property for the coming spring, give us a call today.

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