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Subject: Clearing snow and ice from marble steps

Clearing snow and ice from marble steps

From: Valerie Tomlinson <vtomlinson<-at->
Date: Monday, April 19, 2010
Helena Jaeschke <helena.jaeschke [at] exeter__gov__uk> writes

>Has anyone tried the limestone and urea mix on marble? Does anyone
>know the name of any commercial products?  Does cat litter help?
>Many people in the UK tried the clay type of cat litters to help get
>cars safely over icy roads this winter. ...

Being Canadian I have experimented with cat litter on snow when
other options haven't been available. It provides adequate traction
for short term situations, provided the weather is not too slushy,
however it rapidly becomes saturated with water and becomes a muddy
mess if the snow is damp. It becomes too slimy to provide much
traction, and sets to a difficult to remove, fine/caked-on mud when
the snow is gone. The amount of time it takes to turn to mush
depends on the temperature (i.e. wetness of snow), happening
relatively quickly in the 0 to -10 deg. C range, and more slowly the
colder it gets, however, cold snow usually has decent traction
unless the amount of foot traffic has polished it to ice, and it
doesn't need things added to it. On the plus side, when the sun
comes out the litter darkens the snow so that it sublimes/melts more
quickly, but anything dark will do that, and you're still left with
a mess to clean up afterwards. Sand is much better for long term
traction and is easier to clean up, but more abrasive to the marble.

Valerie Tomlinson
Conservator
Auckland Museum
Tamaki Paenga Hira
The Domain, Private Bag 92018
Auckland 1142, New Zealand
+64 9 306 7068


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 23:41
                 Distributed: Saturday, April 24, 2010
                       Message Id: cdl-23-41-004
                                  ***
Received on Monday, 19 April, 2010

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