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How to Deice Walkways and Patios

Winter Prep for Your Outdoor Landscape

Pave a non-slippery way to and around your home with the right de-icer!

You can never say for sure when we will experience snow or freezing rain in Maryland. Whether you are in the midst of winter or anticipating the coming cold, you will want to avoid the dangers of slippery ice on your home’s pavements. The key is to know which deicing product to use on your type of pavement; the wrong one could end up damaging it, even if it does prevent ice buildup. Below, we’ll discuss how to deice your walkways and patios while preserving them.

Use the Best Deicing Product for Your Pavement

Good Ol’ Shovel

Honestly, manual removal is the best way. Use a metal shovel with a rubber or plastic edge. Just be careful, because The American Heart Association’s 2020 scientific statement notes that “snow shoveling may place extra stress on the heart, especially among people who aren’t used to regular exercise.” A snowblower is even better!


It should be your last resort. Although it is the cheapest and is an effective de-icer, it is better for preventing ice buildup on asphalt rather than on concrete or stone. Salt takes the water out of concrete products, making them brittle and easy to break. It will corrode natural stone and can harm the surrounding landscape. 

Traditional Alternative De-icers

De-icers prevent icy pavements by lowering the water’s freezing point. Traditional alternatives are all forms of chloride, such as magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, and potassium chloride. Magnesium chloride is supposedly safer for pets, but calcium chloride lowers the freezing point the most at -25 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Alternative Anti-Ice Products

Non-chemical options for adding friction to your freezing hardscaping include:

  • Kitty litter: a great alternative but can be messy and tracked in the house
  • Sand: also a great alternative but can be messy
  • Sawdust
  • Wood ash
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fertilizer
  • Snow melt mats

Apply Your Deicing Product Properly

Too much of a good thing makes it a negative thing. Do not apply too much of your chosen de-icer; it could end up harming the surrounding landscape and the pavement. It could even make it cumbersome to walk across the pavement. Apply only a thin layer when you are expecting freezing rain or snowfall. 

It is best to apply it before the weather hits, but you can also apply it after you have shoveled any snow away.

Are you ready to replace your old, worn-down patio, garden path, or driveway? The Landscape Design Center is here for your landscaping needs in Edgewater, MD!

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024 at 12:59 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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