Removing ice from concrete

Old 12-28-03, 04:27 PM
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Question Removing ice from concrete

I have a new house with a new concrete driveway. The concrete is less than 6 months old. I live on Lake Erie and get a lot of snow and ice. The concrete sub contractor said "Don't use salt!!". From past experience with other homes I have to agree.

Any suggestions of what can be used to safely remove ice from driveways and sidewalks?
Old 12-29-03, 05:39 AM
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use sand or kitty litter. it wont remove it but you can walk on it.
Old 01-11-04, 07:20 AM
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If you know anyone with a coal stove.. get some coal ash.
Old 01-19-04, 03:18 PM
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Deicers tend not to be recommended for poorly constructed concrete or concrete less than one year old.

There are 4 primary deicing salts:

The most common deicer is regular rock salt or sodium chloride. It is widely available and can melt snow and ice until the temperature drops to between 16 and 20 F, and then it stops when the temperature drops more. Chloride can pollute streams, rivers and lakes and cause metal to corrode and damage concrete.

Calcium chloride, the little white pellets you have seen, can continue to melt snow and ice as temperatures fall well below 0 F. If your hands are moist, it can irritate the skin. It can chemically attack concrete.

Potassium chloride does not irritate skin or harm vegetation. It is only effective when it's above 15 degrees F. Combined with other chemicals, it can melt ice at lower temperatures. It can damage concrete.

Magnesium chloride will melt snow and ice until the temperature reaches -13 F. It tends to melt ice quickly. This salt releases fewer cholrides than rock salt or calcium chloride. It is less damaging to concrete surfaces of questionable or unknown quality. It is also less toxic to vegetation and does not leave a residue when tracked into your home.

Fertilizers are not recommended because ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate can rapidly disintegrate concrete. Don't take a chance if you don't know what is in the fertilizer.

Sand, kitty litter, or other substance can be used to create traction on ice, but these tend to get tracked into the home. Damage to concrete is actually caused by the freezing and thawing of water that soaks into the upper surface of the concrete. The use of deicing salts increases the amount of freeze-thaw cycles that a concrete sidewalk or driveway experiences. Internal pressures in weak concrete can burst the concrete apart.

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