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Salt for Pattern Concrete Driveway

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  • Jan 12th, 2012 1:06 am
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 25, 2005
524 posts
10 upvotes
Mississauga

Salt for Pattern Concrete Driveway

Our walkway to the front door is slippery due to ice. Is there a salt that I can spread that is safe for patterned concrete

Thanks
17 replies
Member
Oct 8, 2007
420 posts
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If you care for your walkway, do not use salt, even if it says it's fine.
Use sand if you must.
...
Sr. Member
Mar 17, 2010
600 posts
24 upvotes
behind your left sho…
I agree. Never use salt on pavement. Especially your home's pavement or inter-locking stone.....

As a "green" and affordable alternative, use fresh Cat Little instead. Yes. I'm serious. When weather is around freezing mark and sun is out, sprinkle fresh cat litter (yes, using bare hands) on the slippery paths. The Cat Litter material attracks the sun's rays and heats up. Thus, melting the ice surface - that its touches. When it re-freezes, the cat little material freezes to the ice surface and creates some traction as well... And best of all, cat little is environmental friendly. Much more friendlier then road salt...

If not into fresh cat litter, use pure sand (same sand they use for paving stones) instead. Personally, I use fresh cat litter "dusting areas" by hand instead.

Good luck.
Deal Guru
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Apr 17, 2005
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Brampton
We had patterned concrete in our previous house & we used Alaskan Ice Melter.
Worked very well & we had no problems on our concrete.

Image
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Deal Guru
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Mar 25, 2003
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patrob wrote:
Jan 31st, 2011 1:46 am
We had patterned concrete in our previous house & we used Alaskan Ice Melter.
Worked very well & we had no problems on our concrete.

Image

+1. Use on stairs
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Spike99 wrote:
Jan 31st, 2011 1:36 am
ce and creates some traction as well... And best of all, cat little is environmental friendly. Much more friendlier then road salt...

If not into fresh cat litter, use pure sand (same sand they use for paving stones) instead. Personally, I use fresh cat litter "dusting areas" by hand instead.

Pure sand is too fine to do much. You'd want concrete sand, which is coarser and will provide traction. That's what I use on my patterned concrete driveway. Plus it's literally dirt cheap. Last year I paid $3 for a 20kg bag at a garden supply store.
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Apr 21, 2004
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patrob wrote:
Jan 31st, 2011 1:46 am
We had patterned concrete in our previous house & we used Alaskan Ice Melter.
Worked very well & we had no problems on our concrete.

Image

My uncle suggested I buy that too but it was not in stock the last I visited Costco. Would Alaskan be beter than Sifto Extreme Ice Melter for porches and steps? Don't want to use the regular road salt for the steps/concrete areas on our property. TIA.

http://www.canadiantire.ca/browse/produ ... 6050802064
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Dec 26, 2005
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Thornhill
My parents used the Alaskan Ice Melter(*) on their patterned concrete and say that it caused the surface of concrete to chip. They only use the cheap road salt now. Anyway, take it with a grain of salt (heh).

bjl

* actually, let me confirm that's what it was - it's in my garage - will check.
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Oct 12, 2007
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From the makers of Alaskan Ice Melter (which is a good product IMO):
Ice Melters and Concrete
Most concrete damage is a result of the natural effects of freeze-thaw cycles, not a chemical attack by an ice melter. Moisture seeps into the surface pores and cracks in the concrete,and as it changes to ice, expands and puts pressure on surrounding surfaces. Stress on weaker areas in the concrete may result in cracking or surface deterioration.

Using an ice melter increases the number of freeze-thaw cycles, and the potential for damage to concrete. However, the hazards and risk of injury associated with slippery surfaces must be weighed against this.

Properly air-entrained concrete designed for cold weather climates (as recommended by the Portland Cement Association) has a network of tiny air pockets that allow it to accommodate freeze-thaw cycles.

Poor quality surfaces may not withstand the stress associated with these cycles. Ice melter is not recommended on the following surfaces; concrete that is less than 1 year old, masonry (stone or brick), precast concrete (steps or paving stones), stone or concrete surfaces that are chipped, cracked, spalled or have exposed aggregate.

Here are some recommendations for reducing the risk of damage to concrete:
  • Apply ice melter at recommended rates
  • Use a push type or hand held ice melter spreader An ice melter with an environmentally inert dye marker can make it easier to prevent overapplication
  • Use an ice melter with extended refreezing protection
  • Remove slush and water before refreezing occurs
  • Avoid using ice melters on non air-entrained concrete or other vulnerable surfaces
  • Apply a commercial strength sealer when dry
If you are unsure of the quality of your concrete or the suitability of using an ice melter on your surface; use Get A Grip® Super Traction for traction only, to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
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CaptSmethwick wrote:
Jan 8th, 2012 10:08 pm
From the makers of Alaskan Ice Melter (which is a good product IMO):

Thanks. Ottawans should know about de-icing. :) My uncle who moved there from the west coast says the average snowfall in Kanata is significantly more than in the GTA.
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alanbrenton wrote:
Jan 8th, 2012 10:18 pm
Thanks. Ottawans should know about de-icing. :) My uncle who moved there from the west coast says the average snowfall in Kanata is significantly more than in the GTA.

FWIW, I've used this stuff on our flagstone walkway but am careful about how I apply it. I also spread cheap kitty litter when I can. After ~10 years, we've had no problems. I have no experience using it on concrete.

Ottawa's bane isn't snow but rather the great deal of ice that we get - whether freezing rain or flash freezes after a thaw/rain, we seem to get more than our share and it takes quite a bit of mild or sunny weather to truly deal with the stuff.
Member
Aug 1, 2007
384 posts
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I've had pattern concrete for 8 years now and have only used calcium flakes that a friend of mine supplies me from his construction work site. Never had any issues with this product.

Do not use regular road salt on your pattern concrete!!! This will eat away at the surface and will damage your pattern concrete.

I've heard of stories where people leave for winter vacation and while away, their neighbors would shovel their pattern concrete driveways after a snow storm and would through regular salt to try and melt the ice. When the vacationers would come home, they would be greeted with thousands of dollars of damage. :facepalm:
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Apr 21, 2004
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What exactly should we use on the front porch/steps? Just shovel/scrape and let them be?

I understand that for asphalt driveways, the regular road salt will do.

I was planning to buy Alaskan and it seems these are milder than the regular road salts and some on RFD have expressed their satisfaction with the product.
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adeel wrote:
Jan 9th, 2012 3:59 pm
i use groundworks natural ice melter for our interlocking/stairs...its expensive though...already bought this years quota...maybe ill try one of the other suggestions next year.

http://xynyth.com/products-tabs/GNI/gro ... tural.html

How much were they per kg? I only need it for the stairs so this should be fine for the time being until you suggest using another product next year. :)
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