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Personal Perspective

Best Outdoor Ice Melting Tips for Sidewalk Safety

By January 6, 2015No Comments

Winter ice and snow make your outdoor sidewalks and stairs extremely slippery. If someone visits your home and slips or falls, you will most likely be liable. Use the best ice melting solution to ensure safety around your property all winter.


Sunshine and Warm Weather


Sunny weather conditions melt ice naturally. While you may need a faster method to melt ice on your busy front sidewalk, consider allowing Mother Nature to work her magic on the infrequently used sidewalks along the sides or back of your home.




Ice melting solutions made from beets or corn biodegrade and don’t damage asphalt or other materials. While carbohydrate based ice melt is thick and smelly, they’re affordable.


Potassium Acetate


Apply this solution to make your sidewalk wet, and then top it with rock salt or another ice melt. The combination works in extreme temperatures. Potassium acetate doesn’t corrode asphalt or metal, but it is expensive and can cost as much as eight times more than rock salt.


Rock Salt


Available at most hardware stores, rock salt serves as an affordable ice melt. It works best in temperatures above 15 degrees F. Although rock salt is effective, it pollutes waterways and damages vehicles and asphalt, so use it sparingly.


No matter which option you use, implement several helpful tips.


  • Carefully follow the directions on the package. That way, you don’t use too much ice melt yet still achieve the clear and safe surface you need.
  • Take time to remove as much snow as possible before you apply your chosen ice melting solution. Otherwise, it won’t work properly.
  • Consider the weather, too. If the temperature is expected to rise or rain is in the forecast, you can use less solution.


The ice melt you choose depends in part on your budget and preferences. Be sure to stock your preferred ice melt in a secure and locked container that’s out of reach of your children and pets. Then, carefully spread it as needed to prevent dangerous and costly slips and falls around your home this winter.