Use the right stuff.

I know its a bit late to the party but I thought it would be good to warn everyone who has historic (or not so historic) brick sidewalks not to use rock salt.       Salt tends to leach out moisture from the brick creating a cake-icing look that is definitely not acceptable and may contribute to the brick crumbling in the end.      

The right stuff to use is sand.      Not only does it do an excellent job making brick surfaces gritty for traction, the sand ends up being driven down between the bricks further cementing them.      Also, if some accidentally ends up in your garden or landscaping, you don’t have to deal with a build up of poison in your soil.       The sand also adds a nice patina over time.

So, since I knew the big storm was coming, I headed out with two buckets and dug up some sand from the quarry near March’s Hill.     Well, it was so cold that even the sand was hard as rock.     I was sweating away trying to loosen the wretched stuff when a lady came up with her dog.      Trying to be helpful, she said, “You know the DPW will give you sand for free.”     I tried to do a quick recovery and explained I was taking the excess sand off the Bike Trail but she wasn’t buying it.

So now you know.      If you get low, make a call!      Phone number is (978) 465-4463, or e-mail at

-P. Preservationist


About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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