Fixing Your Concrete Driveway

4 Techniques For Getting Rid Of Ice On Your Driveway Without Using Traditional Salt

by Gavin Jackson

Salt is a common method for melting ice that is on sidewalks, driveways and roadways for over 80 years. Unfortunately, salt used on your driveway can actually damage the concrete, which will lead to unnecessary repair. That's why you may be considering alternative ways to remove the ice that does not involve traditional salt. Consider these 4 methods, some of which are environmentally friendly too.


When you are aware that cold weather is coming your way, you can pre-treat a driveway using a de-icer. While they are typically made with calcium chloride, they won't cause damage like pure salt does since it will not track in a liquid form.

Make sure to follow all the directions, and remember that a de-icer is only supposed to loosen the ice, making it easy to shovel away. These products aren't designed to completely melt the ice like salt does, so using an excessive amount of the de-icer will not cause the ice to disappear.

Snow Blower

Ice will form if the snow compacts, which is why you need to get snow off your driveway as quickly as possible. Consider investing in a gas or electric powered snow blower that will help you do that. Nobody likes to shovel, and the speed of using a snow blower will mean that you can clear your driveway fast (and may even have fun doing it).

Clear the driveway several times throughout a heavy snowstorm to prevent accumulation. This will also make the job easier if you do not have a very powerful snow blower.

Radiant Heating Pipes

If you are planning on having your driveway redone by a professional paving contractor, consider installing hot water pipes underneath the cement that will melt the snow for you. A radiant heat system for your driveway works much like one inside a home. Heat will rise from beneath the surface, keeping the ground warm. The heat will never allow the ice to form, which means your driveway will stay clear even in the middle of a storm.

Alfalfa Meal

A material that adds traction as you walk on it is alfalfa meal, which also acts as a de-icing agent. The material is grainy and dry, much like salt, and will not harm the environment as it makes its way towards the city sewer system. If it is tracked into your home, it won't damage your carpeting like salt does.

Hopefully, these tips will help keep the ice away and preserve your concrete. For more information, consider contacting the professionals at S&W Concrete.