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How To Melt Ice Without Damaging Concrete – Part 2

How To Melt Ice On Concrete Sidewalks

Keeping your sidewalks and walkways free of ice and snow is both safe and neighborly in the winter. Depending on where your property is, you may be instructed by law to remove ice from the driveway and clear the snow off your sidewalk after a certain amount of time, which could range from four to twenty-four hours. To avoid problems later, commercial buildings and apartment owners should consider clearing snow as soon as possible. During the winter, slip-and-fall mishaps are all too common. Though snow removal can help prevent such incidents, constant maintenance is essential to keep steps and sidewalks dry and avoid any potential liability as a property owner.

You should know how to melt ice on sidewalks and about driveway ice removal methods to ensure safety from slip and fall incidents.

How To Get Rid Of Ice On The Driveway?

The best way to melt ice on the driveway and sidewalks is using an ice melt. There are numerous advantages to choosing an ice melt solution.

Makes Life Easier 

Clearing the snow off your driveway or pathway makes life easier for you and your family, especially if they have to travel to work or school in the morning. It is also pleasant to wear any shoes without fear of having them wet from the snow. Clearing the snow reduces the risk of slipping on wet snow or a car skidding out of the driveway. Hence, it is crucial to melt snow on the driveway using a safe ice melt before it becomes hazardous.

Avoids Unwanted Mishaps 

Your neighborhood is home to people of various ages who can go out anytime they want without endangering their safety. As a result, clearing the snow is critical to avoid damage and safeguard your loved ones and near ones from danger. Choose an ice melt free from toxic chemicals and keep everyone safe and happy throughout the winter months.

Encourages Goodwill Among Neighbors 

Removing the snow from your sidewalk is a thoughtful gift that your neighbors will appreciate because they would not have to worry about slipping on the ice. They can also rapidly exit or enter their home, as well as transfer their vehicles. Furthermore, it eliminates the need for visitors to travel in the snow. 

Stay Away From Lawsuits 

Some municipalities have rules requiring homeowners to remove snow from their sidewalks and driveways. As a result, clearing snow from such areas is critical, as someone could sue you if they slip outside your home. You cannot avoid clearing snow from your driveway and pathways. So, get the best ice melt for concrete and people.

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How To Melt Ice On Concrete?

The freeze/thaw cycle poses the greatest danger of damage to your driveway throughout the winter months. The accumulation of water in the porous surface freezes and expands. This expansion causes pressure to build up within the surface. It finally exceeds the limit that it can endure. Scaling happens when the pressure on the concrete exceeds its ability to withstand it. 

Using an ice melter to maintain melted ice in a liquid state for a longer time is the best technique to reduce the damage caused by the freeze/thaw cycle.

Popout is another sort of damage caused by the freeze/thaw cycle. Popouts are internal concrete expansion, which causes small concrete fragments to break away from the surface. 

Damaged or new concrete needs more care as it can absorb water more quickly, making it more vulnerable to harm. Before applying any ice melter on your damaged driveway, it is best to reseal or treat it. Applying salt-based ice melter to concrete less than a year old may weaken the building, leaving it more vulnerable to harm in the future. The salt-free natural deicer melts ice without damaging the concrete.

Ice Melt For Concrete

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As vital as knowing the composition of one’s concrete is, one should also be aware of how various ice melting agents may affect their concrete and its immediate surroundings. When sodium chloride is absorbed into the concrete, it attacks the metal rebar within the concrete, as well as causing harm to the surrounding plants, soil structure, and groundwater. Calcium chloride will discolor concrete because it leaves an oily film on the surface.

By remembering a few key factors of using ice melt without damaging concrete, we can significantly lower our chance of harm: 

  • Remove the slush and shattered ice.
  • Use a quality ice melter to avoid chemical damage and extend the freeze/thaw cycle. 
  • To decrease absorption, do not allow water to accumulate on the surface. 
  • To resist your cold winter climate, make sure the concrete is of excellent quality construction. 
  • Salt ice melter should not be used on fresh, damaged, or unsealed concrete.

Ice and snow-melt products function by lowering the freezing temperatures of ice and snow and, as the name implies, melting it away. Some varieties of ice melt are better for concrete, while others are better for asphalt. 

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How To Melt Ice On The Driveway?

Although rock salt is not the same as ice melt, it is less expensive and easier to come by at your local hardware shop. It is also a popular choice for clearing snow and ice off driveways. Salt can ruin the protective sealers and finishes that keep your driveway looking so good. It is also dangerous to pets and plants. 

Salt damage to the driveway is through chemicals reacting with the road or pavement surface. The calcium hydroxide in concrete combines with the calcium chloride in salt to produce calcium oxychloride, which causes mayhem. These crystals expand when they form inside the concrete, creating disintegration. 

Salt also reduces the freezing point of water and increases the pressure of frozen water, amplifying the freeze-thaw cycle’s effect. When ice melts, it transports more water than normal. This excess water contributes additional ice to the concrete when it refreezes in colder temperatures, which increases hydraulic pressure.

So, before you go out and get that bag of rock salt and start sprinkling it all over your driveway, consider other—and better—options. Here are some common chloride-based chemicals used in ice melt.

  • Calcium Chloride 

One of the most popular options for removing ice and snow from concrete driveways is calcium chloride. It is more expensive than salt.

Calcium chloride corrodes metal and destroys carpets and tiles. It is less damaging to plants than other chemicals, but excessive use can harm them.

  • Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is routinely rated as one of the best and safest concrete ice melts available. Magnesium chloride, unlike some other ice melts, is safe to use in thickly vegetated areas. 

It can cause eye irritation, skin irritation, and burn when touched. If you inhale the fumes of this chemical, you can experience respiratory irritation.

  • Potassium Chloride

Another popular ice melt for concrete driveways and walks is potassium chloride. It offers advantages, but it might not be your first pick if you need something that works quickly.

How To Melt Ice On The Driveway Without Salt?

On concrete surfaces, calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) inhibits ice and snow particles from sticking together. Acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, is used to make it. It is one of the priciest de-icer and can also make the pavement slick. Hence, it does not minimize the risk of slip and fall accidents on your premises.

Urea is a widely used fertilizer. Because of the heat it produces, it is also an effective snow-melting product. It is regarded as a safe option for concrete and the environment.

While there are many snow-melting alternatives available to keep your driveway clear all winter, some other options may be preferable if you have small children or pets. It melts ice without damaging concrete. Perhaps you’re worried about the environment and want to choose “green” options. The good news is that natural ice melt is salt-free and suitable for both children and pets. These salt melts are awarded for being safe for people, pets, and the environment. 

Alfalfa meal is a widely used fertilizer and an environmentally friendly and pet-friendly deicer for your concrete driveway. But it attracts rodents and wildlife.

Sprinkle it on your concrete driveway to melt ice in the same manner that salt does. It would not melt ice as rapidly or as effectively as other ice melts, but it is a cost-effective solution for pet owners. The major disadvantage of kitty litter is that it clings to shoes and is unsightly.

Coarsely ground coffee grounds are used to melt ice on a concrete driveway. It is a popular alternative to chemical ice melts and is also beneficial for lawns and garden soils. 

The use of your concrete driveway for an extended period can create staining. It is expensive and messy too. It is not easy to gather enough grounds to cover a large region effectively.

Remember that beet juice alone (without salt) may not be as effective. It is a bit sticky and leaves a faint brown or crimson stain. Its sugar content attracts ants and insects in the spring. 

Before the first snowfall, put them on your driveway. These mats are designed for long-term outdoor use and can be left in place all winter. A power unit is required to connect the system to an electrical outlet. It is not a very cost-effective solution and has to be protected from wear and tear.

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What Melts Ice Besides Salt?

Even though we have lots of ice melting solutions, the best one is the natural salt-free ice melt. It will remove ice from your driveway and sidewalks without damaging the concrete. It will also keep your plants and pets safe throughout the winter months while reducing any slip and fall chances.

How To Remove Ice From Driveway And Sidewalks?

Assess your driveway, sidewalk, garage, and any other concrete on your property for damage before using ice melts and ideally before you get snow. If your driveway has cracks, this can be dangerous, so have it fixed immediately.

Start with a less amount of ice melt and gradually increase the amount. Use the smallest amount possible; you will be astonished at how effective even a little maybe. 

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If the corrosive chemicals are left on your driveway for an extended period, they might cause significant damage. Instead, after the ice has melted, shovel or brush it away.

For grass and other plants, ice melt can be fatal. Keep your ice melt clear of plants and grass to give it the best chance of returning in the spring. 

Shovel, sweep and clean your driveway on a day when temperatures are forecasted to be above freezing to prevent abrasive or corrosive salts from becoming too comfy on your driveway.

How To Deice Driveways Safely?

Concrete is a porous substance that readily absorbs water. During winter, water on roads and driveways condenses into ice or snow, but this does not harm the surface. Deicers, such as salt, are the true culprits when it comes to concrete deterioration. Therefore, to keep your concrete hale and healthy, opt for a natural salt-free ice melt. It will protect your driveway from the freeze-thaw cycle and will also give a security shield for a long-lasting effect.

Get ready for winter with the ONLY Pet Safe Ice Melt you can trust


The ineffectiveness of using rock salt to melt ice is now widely accepted. Homeowners begin looking for ice melters that are safe for concrete, roads, and roofs as the winter months approach. Ice melters that are safe for dogs, cats, and children are in high demand among pet owners and families with children. Caustic ice melts make up the majority of ice melt. Choose an ice melter that is non-toxic, chlorine-free, and salt-free.

Other Ice Melt Products

Safe Thaw

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Stay safe on slippery surfaces with a product that’s 100% natural and safe for pets, people, and your property. Use Traction Magic on sidewalks, steps, or as instant traction for your car.

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Gaia Enterprises Inc. delivers 100% pet-safe and environmentally friendly winter products. Safe Paw, our flagship product, is the #1 selling pet-safe ice melt that does not harm pets, safe if ingested, and safe on all types of concrete.

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