Salt to melt ice on paver driveway?

ricovaliumMarch 4, 2008

Part of my driveway is Unilock paving stones (grey antarra style). Where the sun hits for long periods, everything melts well. Where it doesn't, ice seems to permanently reside.

I'd like to use salt or equivalent to help the process along, but I don't want to eat away at the pavers (they are unsealed).

Any experience? (I live in NH if that matters)


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Are you planning to grow anything along the driveway? Repeated applications of salt will generally have a harmful effect on the ability of plants to grow there. Ancient armies used to sow salt into the fields of their enemies to make them incapable of growing crops...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 12:26PM
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Kudzu, he's asking if the salt will impact his stones - it does erode cement, for instance.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:23PM
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Thanks, Lucy. I am indeed thinking of how it will impact the pavers.

That being said, there are plants and grass all along so the IDEAL solution would clear the ice, not pit the pavers, and not kill the living things ;)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:26PM
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You could use sand for the slipperiness. This wouldn't affect either the pavers or your landscaping, assuming that you didn't let too much accumulate.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:05PM
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Salt eats concrete--that's just the way it is. But with pavers you can replace just those portions that get worn out. Personally I'd do it, but just not so liberally as to create too many problems. It probably won't break them to bits in 3 years--more like 15-20.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Thanks, all.

rogerv, rest of the driveway is dirt (for now), so given the winter we've had, pavers (and garage) are almost beaches now! Issue is that the ice builds up pretty thickly and makes snow removal a challenge.

heimert, I agree. I'm going to research some "friendlier" ones and then try it out.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 8:36AM
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I saw an ad for a liquid you can spray BEFORE so that snow doesn't stick, ice doesn't form--something like that. I never ordered but saved the ad.

Cant find it now but if you google "liquid ice melt" you will come across many options. I just did and lots came up. The one I saw used a sprayer, which you could order, but I'd use the regular plastic sprayer I use in summer.

Sounded good because this wouldn't burn grass and wouldn't get tracked back in on shoes or dogs paws. Hope this helps. Sandy

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 4:20PM
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breenthumb--you can do the same thing with rock salt. It's called pre-treating, and it's what the road crews do before storms in cities where there's snow. What you're doing is creating a thin layer of "brine" (salty water) that sits between the snow and the ground. It's easy to shovel and you're left with a much cleaner/drier driveway.

Problem is, ice usually forms after teh snow has started to melt, sometimes dribbling onto the driveway. Which means the real solution is simply to remove snow as quickly as possible and then prevent any melted snow from refreezing--but that's difficult to do.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Well I'll be! Pretty expensive stuff. Glad I never got any. Thanks, Sandy

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 3:45PM
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Why use road salt? Any type I have used always seems to leave that white salt tracings after the salt melts the ice / snow and the resultant water evaporates.

We have had a lot of success with non-salt ice melter products...Polar brand comes to mind, the one with the Polar bear on the packaging. It is not salt, so no white salt tracings and has never harms any of our interlocking brick and has never killed grass that has been on the lawn next to the interlocking brick patio or driveway.

Or, am I missing something (and if so I apologize).

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 10:21AM
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