Sunday, March 8, 2015

Salt, Again

It is not only the city that has distributed salt freely this winter. We took a walk in late afternoon, and here and there saw salt lying thickly on concrete pitted from such applications, whether this winter or another one. The worst case I did not see, but heard of. A neighbor paid one of the men who walk around with shovels to clear his walk. He or his wife set out on the porch a twenty-five pound bag of salt, expecting the man to scatter a few handfuls. The shoveler used it all, on what could hardly be thirty yards of walk. The walk from the porch to the city sidewalk is slate, painstakingly cut and laid by the neighbor himself. The grout comes up as if it were loose sand. Some of the slate will flake off, too.

Well, we have overdone it. One winter fifteen or twenty years ago, there was much ice. We were in a row house in a series that got no winter sun on the walks, and we used too much salt. When the weather warmed up above 40 F, I was able to scrape up the ice, but many chips of the concrete came with it. Clearly we weresn't the only one who did so, for contractors laid a new surface on most of the development's sidewalks. Perhaps in the snow belt the knowledge of proper salt application is handed down generation to generation. Here we forget between snowy winters.

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