How-To Videos

Removing Ice from Walks and Steps

By: Danny Lipford
Danny Lipford by brick steps with pump up sprayer to apply chemical deicer.

Danny Lipford by brick steps with pump up sprayer to apply chemical deicer.

One of the most common causes of injury around the home during the winter months is slipping on icy steps, walkways, or drives.

Watch this video for tips on how to:

  • Use deicers, such as rock salt, to melt existing ice.
  • Spread sand or kitty litter to increase traction on ice.
  • Apply liquid chemical anti-icers to prevent ice from forming.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: One of the most common causes of injury around the home—ice. Every winter thousands of people slip on icy steps, walkways, or drives and wind up bruised and sore or even worse, in the emergency room.

Even a surface like these bricks that normally have very good traction whether it’s wet or dry will become incredibly slick later this evening when the temperatures drop again and all this water freezes.

One solution is to melt the ice after it forms. Sodium chloride, or salt, is a popular way to do this, but the problem is as the ice melts, the salty runoff can kill adjacent plants and build up in the surrounding soil.

Now you can also create traction on top of the ice by spreading some sand or a little kitty liter over it. But my favorite solution is to pre-treat an area just before the bad weather hits to stop the problem before it starts.

This is a regular pump up garden sprayer, and it contains a chemical deicer that you spray onto the surface you want to protect before the storm hits to prevent any ice from bonding to the surface.

But if you happen to miss the forecast, and you don’t get a chance to pre-treat, you can still apply it directly to the ice or snow, and it melts both with no problem. But be sure to choose a deicer that’s completely biodegradable, so that it won’t hurt the lawn or garden.


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6 Comments on “Removing Ice from Walks and Steps”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    October 15th, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Hi, Gene,
    Thanks so much for your interest in this video!
    It is over four years old, so, unfortunately, we no longer have that information on hand.
    But we’re glad to hear that you found the video helpful!
    Take care.

  • Gene Sills Says:
    October 9th, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I wanted to ask what biodegradable chemical de-icer Mr. Lipford was using in the sprayer to pre-treat brick steps for icing, where it can be found, and whether it degrades cement? What is best to use on pressure treated or composite decking? The products used in the video would be great!
    The video is very helpful for a very common problem in winter in the NE; the answers/responses to comments would be helpful too.

  • Roy A Yearwood Jr. Says:
    January 5th, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Like to know what spray de-icing product do you recommend and where does one purchase it.

  • Janet Says:
    January 2nd, 2016 at 11:46 am

    This sounds like a better option than salt, which has pitted my pattio concrete. How often do you have to spray the de-icer onto your steps or walkway? Does it last 24 hours? Do you have to reapply every hour or what?

  • rob carino Says:
    January 2nd, 2016 at 9:50 am

    It would be nice if you would list some recommended de-icing products available, especially the spray-on type .

    Thanks RC

  • Heather W. Says:
    January 1st, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Will this de-icing tip, also, work on concrete steps and walkways?

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Removing Ice from Walks and Steps