(WKBN) — Now that a few good snowfalls have come across the valley, this is the time of year where many remember how to get back into their winter routines. One of those routines involves the tedious task of clearing the ice and snow that builds up on driveways and sidewalks.

There are steps that can be taken to help prevent the build up of snow and ice and make what falls easier and safer to clear. This involves pretreating with ice melt. It’s good to take a look at the different types of ice melt there are and the best time to use them.

When thinking about ice melt and salt, some may not realize how many different types there are. A few common naturally occurring ice melt salts include Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride.

The different varieties of salt matter because each works more effectively at different temperatures.

Sodium Chloride works best until the temperature drops to about 20 degrees, Potassium Chloride until 12 degrees, Magnesium Chloride until zero degrees and Calcium Chloride until -25 degrees. Blends of the different salts with other chemical additives can also be found.

To have any of these work most effectively the ice melt need to be placed at the right time. They will work most effectively either right before snowfall begins, or right after the snow has been cleared

. Doing this will create a slushy layer between the surface and the snow that makes shoveling or snow blowing easier and cleaner.

Stay informed with Storm Team 27 on air, online, and on the Storm Team 27 mobile app to know when to expect inclement weather to know when to prepare your driveways and sidewalks to help everyone safe this winter.