I personally live in a cold climate and have had my share of falls.  As I have got older I find myself becoming a bit anxious when the bad weather includes freezing rain or snow pellets hits.  I don’t mind doing a bit of snow clearing but that ice always got me.  You can’t always see it, especially on the walkways and porch steps, it just seems to collect there as it may not be used as often in the bad weather.  I worry for the mailman climbing icy steps, and for myself getting to the car or simply off my property. 

There are many ways to deal with this issue, which include spreading lots of salt and sand, but personally I have found that although it gets rid of the ice patches, it doesn’t do my lawn and flower beds any favours come the spring time and also tends to be patchy leaving some little patches behind (which is what I slipped on and wrenched my back).  I wanted another option.

snow melting matsCredit: amazon.com

Power Heated Stair Mats

From my research, I have discovered, there are different ways to approach this problem.  If you have power on the outside of your house, you can plug these mats in and they will heat just enough to keep the snow and ice off.  They don’t suck a lot of power but more of a gentle heat.  Best if you can get them out there before the bad weather really sets in, if not, make sure the step is really cleaned well and place them.  These would work very well on concrete porch steps or walkways with steps.  These are designed simply for the treads of the steps.  I find concrete the worst when it comes to icy patches and too much salt can cause it to flake come spring time.  

snow melting matCredit: amazon.com

Powered Snow Melting Walkway Mat

This too requires electricity, but if you have power available this will really help with those flat walkways that just seem to accumulate ice.  I love the idea of this because I wouldn’t have to spread all kinds of salt and sand that usually ends up on the yard as you tend to move it each time you clear your path from a storm.  This can be left out all winter long and your mailman will thank you and so will your visitors.  We spend so much time making sure the driveway is clear that sometimes the paths especially if not used all the time, fill up and become dangerous.

snow melting matsCredit: amazon.com
Ice Carpet (Set of 2) Mats Walkway Home Safety
Amazon Price: $24.98 $17.07 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 15, 2017)

Ice Carpet

If you do not have a power option and no electricity nearby, or you are renting, this is another option.  It is much cheaper and has a stay put backing and high fibrous materials that allow your shoe or boot to grip the walkway.  If it snows you simply sweep it off and you can maintain your footing on this walkway.

Snow melting matsCredit: amazon.com
Saltnets Reusable Snow & Ice Melting Mat
Amazon Price: $49.99 $49.98 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 15, 2017)

Ice and Snow Melting Mat

This particular mat is infused with ice deterrents and is pet safe.  It only releases what is needed to melt the mat area so that you don’t have way too much product on your steps or porch.  This one doesn’t require power either so you simply get a few and place them where you need them.  You could space them out on the sidewalk or pathway.

The melting agent is contained in the heavy duty nylon tubes, therefore keeping the mat clear and no runoff into gardens.  This stops bits of rock salt from getting stuck in your pets paws too.

Snow Melting Mats Keep your Porch and Path Safer

Winter is hard enough to deal with on a daily basis especially when trying to get to work.  It is nice to know that at least you can get in your house without worry if it storms while at work.   This brought me to this next idea for the driveway.

snow melting matsCredit: amazon.com
Warmly Yours 120 V Snow Melt Cable, 43 '
Amazon Price: $180.00 $176.17 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 15, 2017)

Under Driveway Heating

If you are considering renovating your driveway with new asphalt, pavers, or whatever hard material you planned to use, you could add these heating coils under the driveway and this will stop the snow and ice from sticking.  These modern heating coils are placed under your driveway material and wired into your house.  No more salt and shoveling.  This is a bit more of an investment but something to consider if you were planning on redoing your driveway anyways.  You could have a “shovel free” winter if you heat the driveway and the walkways.

There are many options now for creating safety; falls in the winter can be fatal especially if there is hidden ice.  I personally have managed to fall on tiny little patches of black ice on my front porch step even when the driveway was clear.  As I get older this becomes a concern. 

Investing in Safety Options can Make Winter more Tolerable

I have discovered you can create some safety for little money, or you can invest more if winters are heavier where you live and are fed up with the cleaning involved.  Snow melting mats create a safe area which means one less area to shovel and scrape and less damage to your surrounding gardens.  If you can’t afford the time and money to run off to warmer climates during the winter months, investing in some safer options can make winter more bearable.

So if you have a door or path you simply do not use because it ices up, then consider melting mats as an option as visitors and the mailman need to still get at your door.  This is also a welcoming sight if you have been struggling in a snow storm to get home, and you see a nice clear path to your door.