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Best Ice Melt For Concrete

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 19th, 2020 7:53 pm
17 replies
Deal Expert
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Jun 12, 2007
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sickcars wrote: Hello All,

We have a new Concrete driveway poured a month or so ago. I'm wondering what would be the best/safest Calcium to use on it this winter? I have found a bunch at Canadian tire but not sure which is better.

https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/outdoor- ... ete%20Safe

Thanks
Do not use any salt on new concrete. It doesn't reach full strength for a couple of years

Example:

https://www.alaskan.ca/products/alaskan ... melter-bag

Concrete precautions

Alaskan® Premium Ice Melter is recommended for use on good quality, air-entrained concrete for cold weather climates as specified by the Portland Cement Association.
Melting snow and ice increases the frequency of the freeze/thaw cycles that can affect all surfaces. Poor quality surfaces may not withstand the stress associated with these cycles.
Due to irregularities and inconstancies in finish and porosity, use of ice melter may carry some risk of surface spalling.
Use of Alaskan® Premium Ice Melter is done at the user’s own risk.
The potential for surface damage can be decreased by promptly removing slush as it is formed.
If you are unsure of the quality of your concrete or the suitability of using an ice melter on your surface, use sand to reduce the risk of slips and falls.


Alaskan® Premium Ice Melter is not recommended on the following surfaces:

Concrete that is less than 1 year old
Patterned, stamped and/or coloured concrete
Stone or brick masonry (including flagstone)
Precast concrete (steps or paving stones)
Stone or concrete surfaces that are chipped, cracked, spalled or have exposed aggregate
Wooden surfaces such as decks
Roofs or gutters


1)Shovel snow when it's still fresh, before it gets compacted/ melted into ice
2)Use a manual ice scraper as needed :
Image
Last edited by l69norm on Oct 14th, 2020 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Feb 7, 2017
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Eastern Ontario
engineered wrote: I use sand or screenings.
This

Salt is not kind to concrete
Opt for something else
[OP]
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Mar 13, 2004
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I was told Calcium would be best and not salt. or is Calcium not good either for new concrete?

Thanks
l69norm wrote: Do not use any salt on new concrete. It doesn't reach full strength for a couple of years

Example:

https://www.alaskan.ca/products/alaskan ... melter-bag

Concrete precautions

Alaskan® Premium Ice Melter is recommended for use on good quality, air-entrained concrete for cold weather climates as specified by the Portland Cement Association.
Melting snow and ice increases the frequency of the freeze/thaw cycles that can affect all surfaces. Poor quality surfaces may not withstand the stress associated with these cycles.
Due to irregularities and inconstancies in finish and porosity, use of ice melter may carry some risk of surface spalling.
Use of Alaskan® Premium Ice Melter is done at the user’s own risk.
The potential for surface damage can be decreased by promptly removing slush as it is formed.
If you are unsure of the quality of your concrete or the suitability of using an ice melter on your surface, use sand to reduce the risk of slips and falls.


Alaskan® Premium Ice Melter is not recommended on the following surfaces:

Concrete that is less than 1 year old
Patterned, stamped and/or coloured concrete
Stone or brick masonry (including flagstone)
Precast concrete (steps or paving stones)
Stone or concrete surfaces that are chipped, cracked, spalled or have exposed aggregate
Wooden surfaces such as decks
Roofs or gutters


1)Shovel snow when it's still fresh, before it gets compacted/ melted into ice
2)Use a manual ice scraper as needed :
Image
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
19278 posts
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Eastern Ontario
Maybe this info will help explain it better

https://www.houselogic.com/organize-mai ... intenance/

Remember ... Chloride = Salt
In general, the lower the price of the product, the more salt it contains and the more potentially harmful it is to the environment. Check product labels to figure out the chief ingredients in these popular deicing products:

SODIUM CHLORIDE : Also known as rock salt, this basic compound is one of the cheapest ice melters on the market. It has the lowest price per pound, but it’s the hardest on the environment and not that effective at temps less than 15 degrees F. Cost: $6 for a 50-lb. bag.

CALCIUM CHLORIDE : One of the best choices for super-cold climates, it’s effective down to minus 25 degrees F. It’s a better environmental choice than sodium chloride. Cost: $20 for a 50-lb. bag.

CALCIUM MAGNESIUM ACETATE : Relatively new on the market, it’s a salt-free product that’s touted as environmentally friendly, but that claim has yet to be tested in the long run. It costs more than other deicers. Cost: $30 for a 50 lb. bag.
And that’s pretty much how you’ll see them bought & used in the marketplace.

Most folks use Rock Salt, cuz it’s the cheapest, most known, and most available (like Windsor Salt = https://windsorsalt.com/product/safe-t-salt/ )

Followed by Deicers / Ice Melters that incorporate calcium (like Alaskan = https://www.alaskan.ca/ )

CMA = Calcium Magnesium Acetate mixes are available too, although less known / common (like Joe Melt = https://www.homedepot.ca/product/snow-j ... 1000854994 )

If you want to avoid SALT ... then make sure there’s no CHLORIDE in the mix
[OP]
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Thanks for the info, Yes I want to avoid salt or anything else that would damage a concrete driveway.

So looking at this one that you mentioned - https://www.homedepot.ca/product/snow-j ... ____583694_

i dont see Chloride in the description, do you think that this would be a good option?

Thanks
PointsHubby wrote: Maybe this info will help explain it better

https://www.houselogic.com/organize-mai ... intenance/

Remember ... Chloride = Salt



And that’s pretty much how you’ll see them bought & used in the marketplace.

Most folks use Rock Salt, cuz it’s the cheapest, most known, and most available (like Windsor Salt = https://windsorsalt.com/product/safe-t-salt/ )

Followed by Deicers / Ice Melters that incorporate calcium (like Alaskan = https://www.alaskan.ca/ )

CMA = Calcium Magnesium Acetate mixes are available too, although less known / common (like Joe Melt = https://www.homedepot.ca/product/snow-j ... 1000854994 )

If you want to avoid SALT ... then make sure there’s no CHLORIDE in the mix
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sickcars wrote: Thanks for the info, Yes I want to avoid salt or anything else that would damage a concrete driveway.

So looking at this one that you mentioned - https://www.homedepot.ca/product/snow-j ... ____583694_

i dont see Chloride in the description, do you think that this would be a good option?

Thanks
If you follow the "Manual/ Specifications" link on the right, it says:

..https://images.homedepot.ca/s7viewers/h ... 854994.pdf
....
Salt.jpg
'..
Sodium Chloride 85%, so I would avoid using, especially in the first 2 years. Concrete slowly gains strength over time

https://precast.org/2013/10/28-day-myth/

.... Many cement pastes will cease hydration before one year, and some may continue to hydrate over the course of several years (4). Because of the variable length of the hydration process, the phrase “green concrete” is a purely subjective characterization.....
[OP]
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I think I may be better off just using Sand like this - https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/anti ... p.html#srp

Unless you have some recommendation on a product that wont harm salt?

Thanks
l69norm wrote: If you follow the "Manual/ Specifications" link on the right, it says:

..https://images.homedepot.ca/s7viewers/h ... 854994.pdf
....
Salt.jpg
'..
Sodium Chloride 85%, so I would avoid using, especially in the first 2 years. Concrete slowly gains strength over time

https://precast.org/2013/10/28-day-myth/

.... Many cement pastes will cease hydration before one year, and some may continue to hydrate over the course of several years (4). Because of the variable length of the hydration process, the phrase “green concrete” is a purely subjective characterization.....
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Feb 11, 2007
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sickcars wrote: I think I may be better off just using Sand like this - https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/anti ... p.html#srp

Unless you have some recommendation on a product that wont harm salt?

Thanks
I liked screenings, as they're less likely to stick to your boot and be dragged into the house. They also seem less messy to me. Sand or screenings will actually melt your ice as well, as they are dark and will absorb the sun's heat better than the ice.
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/lime ... p.html#srp
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Selling 18x8 Winter Wheels/Tires 225/60R-18 for Audi Q5, A5, Mercedes, PM for info, lots of tread.
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[OP]
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Nice good to know. they seem to be bigger then sand too so yes less likely to stick to your boot as you say.

Thanks
engineered wrote: I liked screenings, as they're less likely to stick to your boot and be dragged into the house. They also seem less messy to me. Sand or screenings will actually melt your ice as well, as they are dark and will absorb the sun's heat better than the ice.
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/lime ... p.html#srp
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Apr 18, 2005
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whatever you do DONT use Alaskan !
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I had concrete poured last year. Contractor told me to try to avoid using any kind of salt and definitely not use anything but sand/cat litter during the first winter. The only thing I used was a shovel!
Isn't it great to live in the 21st century where deleting history has become more important than making it.
[OP]
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I'm likely going to go with Sand or Limestone Screening by the looks of it.

Thanks
Holystone wrote: I had concrete poured last year. Contractor told me to try to avoid using any kind of salt and definitely not use anything but sand/cat litter during the first winter. The only thing I used was a shovel!
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Mar 30, 2004
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If it’s not super cold, I use a high nitrogen fertilizer. 30-0-0 if you can find it.... Takes the ice right down, easy on concrete and doesn’t kill the lawn.

https://www.lowes.ca/product/lawn-ferti ... -3-1159258
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten....
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Nov 18, 2020
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Maybe a silly question but what kind of sand? And from where?
I was reading Canadian Tire has one but lots of horrible reviews of the sand being so heavy and wet that after it was opened it was so went ppl could not spread it on the concrete driveway.
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Mar 21, 2002
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Toboss2020 wrote: I was reading Canadian Tire has one but lots of horrible reviews of the sand being so heavy and wet that after it was opened it was so went ppl could not spread it on the concrete driveway.
I ran into that with a couple sacks I bought from Home Depot a few years ago. Since then I have learned to buy sand in the summertime when it is hot, to spread it out on a plastic sheet in the garage and just leave it for a week, stirring it around a bit with a shovel from time to time. Then I shovel it up and put it into pails to wait for winter. No moisture problem then because it's been dried out. You can never know what you get from any store, especially if they've been storing it outside in the open.

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