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5 Effective Ways to De-Ice Your Driveway

Has winter weather turned your driveway into a skating rink? Here are five of the most effective ways to de-ice your driveway and walkways—with tips on how to prevent ice from accumulating in the first place.

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Salt can de-ice your drivewayPhoto: ShutterStock

1. Rock Salt

 

The most common way to de-ice your driveway is to use rock salt. We drop about five-million tonnes of the stuff every year to prevent our driveways, steps and sidewalks from becoming mini skating rinks. The benefit: it’s cheap and available everywhere. The downside: it contains cyanide and chloride, making it dangerous for plants and pets.

Check out 5 Clever New Uses for Salt!

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Heat mats can de-ice your drivewayPhoto: ShutterStock

2. Heat Mats

In-ground heat mats are a means of de-icing your driveway for people who are building a new house or are about to replace their driveway. But for most everyone else, they’re prohibitively expensive.

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Environmentally friendly ways to de-ice your drivewayPhoto: ShutterStock

3. “Green” Products

A number of de-icing products on the market are advertised as all-natural or environmentally friendly, but even those can be corrosive, expensive or just plain ineffective. Calcium magnesium acetate, for example, is biodegradable, but it only de-ices when the air temperature is -3ºC or warmer.

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Sand can de-ice your drivewayPhoto: ShutterStock

4. Sand

Sand or gravel are good for creating traction, making icy surfaces less dangerous to walk across, but they can create a goopy mess of driveway and clog up storm drains during a thaw.

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The best way to de-ice your driveway is to shovel snow regularlyPhoto: ShutterStock

5. Shovel Regularly

As with most things, there’s no easy way out when it comes to de-icing your driveway. The most effective method—one that is green and works 100 per cent of the time—is to prevent snow from building up and turning into ice in the first place. That means shovelling snow as soon as the white stuff hits the ground, even if it involves venturing out mid-storm.

Check out more advice on De-Icing Your Driveway the Right Way!