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Winter brings lots of joys, especially in cold-season areas—the holidays, evenings by a warm fireplace and beautiful blankets of snow. But there’s also an unpleasant side to the cold season, and when it comes to ice on driveways and walkways, things can even get dangerous.

If you’re selling your home, it’s vitally important that you keep the outdoor areas safe by clearing away ice and snow. The most important reason is to prevent potential buyers from slipping and injuring themselves, but a well-kept driveway or walkway is also a sign that a home is being well taken care of.

And the good news is that it isn’t hard at all to clear the snow and ice from your driveway. With the right products and a little muscle, you can rest assured that your home will welcome buyers even if there’s snow on the ground.

Get Out Your Shovel

The first step to a clear driveway is to shovel away snow or use a snow blower to clear the area. After a major storm, get out there as soon as you can, and even if there’s a light snowfall, it’s important to shovel because a thin layer of snow can be slippery. If you’re shoveling, it’s important not to over-exert yourself—don’t make the loads on your shovel too heavy. Be sure to take breaks and, after you’re finished, warm up and relax for a while.

Melt the Ice

Sometimes, a light snow can be cleared away fairly easily, and the path underneath the snow is already pretty clear. Other times, especially after a major storm, wet snow can pack into the driveway and can lead to ice.

Rock salt has long been a tried and true method to melt away ice, but other products are also available, and some are even environmentally friendly. Whatever product you use, use a shovel to spread it evenly over the ice and snow. Spraying warm water onto the surface can help ice melt quicker if you’re using salt, but this step isn’t necessary for other products.

While these products are good for melting ice, you still have work to do. Use your shovel to clear away the slush, which by now should be a little more fluid. For particularly stubborn spots, boiled water can come in handy, but be sure the area is dry when you’re done, so that water left behind doesn’t freeze again.

There are challenges to selling a home in the winter, but a dangerous driveway doesn’t have to be one of them.

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