Snow removal is necessary to keep the roads and sidewalks safe as snow and ice continue to build up during winter.

Among the different types of snow removal methods, salting and sanding are two of the most common methods here in Calgary.

But before you grab some salt or head out to buy sand, it’s essential to understand the differences between these two snow removal methods and how they can benefit your property.

Why These Methods Matter

Snow removal is not just about aesthetics; it’s about safety.

As a property owner, you’re expected to keep your sidewalk and driveway free of ice and snow. Doing so ensures that pedestrians passing by or walking around your property are safe from slips, trips, and falls.


rock salt sprinkled over the pathway to prevent snow from forming

Salting is an effective method for melting snow and preventing ice from forming on the roads and sidewalks.

The process is as simple as spreading salt on the roads and sidewalks to melt the snow and ice. 

The salt works by lowering the freezing point of water, which causes the snow and ice to melt.

Pros & Cons of the Salting Method 

One of the main advantages of salting is that it is relatively inexpensive. 

Aside from its accessibility, it is also easy to apply. You do not need a truck to spread salt over your sidewalk—you can easily do it by hand. 

In addition, due to its ionic compound, which lowers the freezing point of water, it effectively prevents ice from forming and reduces the risk of accidents.

However, there are also some downsides to salting. 

One of the main concerns is that salt can harm the environment when spread on the roads. It can run off into nearby waterways that can harm plants and animals. 

Another concern when it comes to salting is salt can also damage concrete and other surfaces, which can be costly to repair.


sand scattered over snow to provide traction on the path

On the other hand, sanding does not melt snow or ice but provides traction instead.

Sanding involves spreading a gritty substance, typically a combination of sand and gravel, on the roads and sidewalks to provide a rough surface for vehicles and pedestrians to grip. 

Sanding is often used with salting, as the sand can provide traction while the salt melts the snow and ice.

Pros & Cons of the Sanding Method 

One of the main advantages of sanding is that it is relatively safe for the environment since it is a natural material. 

And when it runs off into nearby waterways, it does not harm plants or animals. 

In addition, sanding is much less likely to damage concrete and other surfaces, unlike salting.

However, there are also some downsides to sanding. 

One of the main concerns is that sand can be challenging to clean up after the snow and ice have melted. It can go into buildings and homes, which can be a nuisance for homeowners. 

Another thing to remember is sanding does not remove snow since it cannot melt snow and ice.

a snow removal professional working a snow plow to remove snow from the road

Salting or Sanding? Leave It to the Pros

Despite how accessible salting and sanding can be, it is best to let a professional do the job to lessen the risk of property damage, personal injury, liability, and environmental damage.

The experts have the necessary expertise, skills, and equipment to efficiently and safely remove snow from residential and commercial areas.

TNA Concrete is a concrete and landscaping company in Calgary that offers snow removal services for residential and commercial spaces.

If you require more information about our snow removal services, you can contact us and inquire how we can help each other keep the road safe this winter.