Normally, if you see that on a cake, your mouth begins to water. Unfortunately, if you see the same kind of thing on the brick sidewalk in front of your house; you can respond with a moan.
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. I have seen the phenomena all over town as people not aware of the correct method to maintain their brick sidewalks. Without realizing it, they are damaging the Downtown and elsewhere in the City. Even the Institution for Savings is doing it – right after the bank spent a fortune putting in correct brick making sure the surface is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. The bank might as well start buying more brick because it won’t be long before impurities are drawn up from the interior leaving a milky and unsightly coating. Then, the brick weakens and it won’t be long before many are cracked and shattered.
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.
If you are a commercial business, the best bet is to get bags of sand from an industrial supply as white a product as you can muster so it will lay down and do the job as efficiently as salt without looking like mud. If you are a homeowner, get play yard sand.
I know it is late in the season and we have had unusually warm weather but it could change in a day and we could have it bad for the next two months. (However unlikely it appears!)
Before those late season snowstorms hit, make sure you have a bag of sand.
Save Newburyport one brick at a time!