The Best Ice Melt for Driveways | Ask This Old House

In this video, mason Mark McCullough gives a basic overview of a few different ways to de-ice walkways and driveways during the winter, and how those deicers impact different types of masonry.

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Then, mason Mark McCullough walks Kevin O’Connor through how to choose the best ice melt for your driveway and walkways. There are basically two materials to make surfaces less slippery in the winter: salt and sand.

Mark shows Kevin his third category of de-icers, a sand/salt combination. Mixes are usually a good go-to because you can minimize the amount of salt in the mix, which reduces damage to walkways and the environment, while still providing some ice melting ability and traction from the sand.

Mark explains that while you can use salt on asphalt, it is bad for concrete. Salt can corrode the integrity of the concrete overtime by exacerbating the freeze-thaw cycle, which is how potholes and cracks form.

Cost: Free – $40
Skill Level: Easy

Shopping List:
Rock salt []
Sand []
Rock salt / sand combination []

Where to find it?
Mark discussed a few different types of driveway and walkway de-icers. Both the rock salt and the sand were generic products that can be found at any home center.

The rock salt/sand combination was a Road Runner 20lb Ice Melt Blend Bag [], which is manufactured by Scotwood Industries (

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About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. Ask This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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The Best Ice Melt for Driveways | Ask This Old House


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