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Rubber Winter Sidewalk

overlay for your store or home walkway.
  (+12, -1)(+12, -1)
(+12, -1)
  [vote for,

Made out of recycled tire rubber to be slightly spongy; the snow falls on top of the mat, gets crushed, turns to ice overnight... we all know that part...

Then, because it's an easily compressible surface, the very next footstep breaks up the ice, which can be swept away.

FlyingToaster, Jan 04 2008

Recycled Tire Mats http://www.recycledtiremats.com/
From the photos, it looks like this guy works out of his tornado magnet, I mean mobile home. No snow in sight. [Canuck, Jan 05 2008]


       Never experienced the icy sidewalk problem, being a tropical-type, however bun for lateral thinking.   

Custardguts, Jan 04 2008

       What, the Nobel prize for bollocks?   

       Unless you include snow chains under your mat, with the very next footstep the whole rigmarole slides several inches and the footstepper goes tumbling to the ground.
globaltourniquet, Jan 04 2008

       put yer bollocks away   

       The mat goes on top of the sidewalk *before* it starts snowing, not on top of the snow *after*.   

       (original post edited to include the bleedin' obvious... why would putting a mat *on top* of the ice break anything up ?)
FlyingToaster, Jan 04 2008

       In Sydney (Australia) they have taken to putting rubber matting around tree trunks (I'm assuming they let rain water through).   

       The matting is spongy and I haven't often thought it would be better if all pavement was made with this material.   

       No doubt there are compelling economic reasons why this doesn't happen.
Brett-Blob, Jan 04 2008

       A simple improvement would be during the wee small hours, to force air between the pavement substrate and the rubber in pulses, thereby throwing off the snow and breaking up any ice.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 04 2008

       //If an ice sheet can form over top of a large puddle and be slippery, it can form over top of a bed of rubber and be slippery//
I couldn't think of a more expressive word than "spongey" (still can't)... thing is, ice forms on top, but when you step on it, the rubber underneath will deform but the ice won't and it will crack...
FlyingToaster, Jan 04 2008

       I get the idea, I ran track in HS on a shredded rubber surface, but what you need is not a spongy(which implies water permiable), but compressible waterproof mat. Stiff enough to support standing water, but soft enough to flex under frozen ice to allow the ice to break up when walked on.   

       This is a good idea, especially if the mats are black to soak up solar heat and thick enough to allow drainage so ice never forms.
MisterQED, Jan 04 2008

       Good idea, I'd be out there every morning with a ice cube bucket and a bottle of plonk if the overlay was cube indented.
skinflaps, Jan 04 2008

       If the ice is thin enough, why not simply peel up the rubber mat, similar to a car window ice shield? Happy, dry surface underneath.
RayfordSteele, Jan 04 2008

       //compressible waterproof mat.//
what he said.

       //why not simply peel up the rubber mat, similar to a car window ice shield? Happy, dry surface underneath//   

       we have 4-5 months of snow and ice... that's alot of sheets.
FlyingToaster, Jan 05 2008

       A better solution to this problem would be grate.
4whom, Jan 05 2008

       //that's alot of sheets// Need I say more?   

       Apparently, since not many of you got that one.   

       Drat! I was all inspired to do the math and come up with a bunch of reasons why this idea would be impractical, then I searched for "rubber tire mats" and first among the 77,000 results (see the link) was some guy in the USofA who makes this very thing, custom-orderable up to 8 feet by 25 feet (coincidentally, the very size my example was all set to use).   

       The most ironic thing about my discovery was the simplest - I was all set to bollocks (lovely word, thank you, Brits) the idea because it would be far too heavy to lift for clearing the ice and snow, when I read the line "Don't pick 'em up - roll 'em back!" Well, duh! Consider my forehead well and truly smacked.   

       So, I guess this makes the idea baked, not from the standpoint of Toaster's "spongey" surface breaking up the ice, but rather offering an alternative, which would be rolling the mat back and disposing of snow and ice that has made its way through the cracks.   

       Now, if we could only figure out how to run enough current through the sucker to melt the accumulation into runoff without setting fire to the rubber or zapping barefoot passersby...
Canuck, Jan 05 2008

       [Canuck] I use those, they're good for doormats and wiping shoes... but they have to be maintained in winter (picked up, shaken out).
FlyingToaster, Jan 05 2008

       And it works; at least the demo does. Spongey rubber doormat under an inch of ice + a bit of unenthusiastic laying about with a carpenter's hammer, and voila! I can open my door and go outside. This would be cause for much huzzah'ing if I didn't have a stomach flu.
FlyingToaster, Feb 14 2014

       OK, but it would make shoveling difficult/awkard, and forget about a snow blower or an ATV w/ plow.   

       If you could make it both compressible under weight and yet very resilient, then maybe   

       or I dunno, I just know you're onto something here
EdwinBakery, Feb 23 2014

       Black material melts some snowfalls, and plastic snowshovels won't harm it.
FlyingToaster, Feb 23 2014

       What's really needed is a rotatable Earth. Simply get the Earth to rotate on a East-West axis and wait until you are in the tropics.
not_morrison_rm, Feb 23 2014

       //I was all set to bollocks (lovely word, thank you, Brits) the idea//   

       Actually, that would be "to bollock", if it's used transitively. You can bollock someone or something, or you can give someone or something a bollocking.   

       You may be getting confused with the phrase "to bollocks up" (as in "he bollocksed that up comprehensively"). One can also say "he made a right bollocks of that" (note use of "bollocks" as a singular in this context).   

       Of course, "bollocks" can also be used as an adjective ("that's bollocks").   

       A very versatile word, is bollock(s). In terms of its ability to function as a noun, verb and adjective it surpasses even the ubiquitous and simpler "fuck".
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 23 2014

       whatever you do make sure its yellow
vfrackis, Feb 24 2014


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