One: Don’t use ice melt too soon on concrete surfaces. Using ice melt on concrete that has not properly cured will cause the top layer of concrete to crumble and chip off. Not what you want. You should not use ice melt on concrete that is less than a year old.
Two: Don’t allow the dried ice melt to sit on your concrete for days and days. It’s common to see flakes and pellets of ice melt sitting on a sidewalk for weeks after a snow. It’s also common to then see pitting in that concrete. Sweep off any excess ice melt after the ice has melted. The excess will also track in to your house or business and make a mess of your floor.
Three: Don’t use too much ice melt. Hey, I get it, and I am guilty of this. Guys like me think, if a little bit is good, a lot is better. So we pour on the ice melt, covering the ice
With a layer way too thick. Yes, it will melt the ice, but the excess really does no good. It just wastes ice melt and makes more to sweep up later. If you have an immediate need for traction, use sand instead. That excess will not hurt the concrete, though you’ll still have to sweep it up. (Or maybe, just use a lot of sand and call it a beach!)
Four: Standard ice melt is not good for you pets. Mainly you need to watch your dogs around ice melt. They’re the most likely to be wandering around, or playing where they could come in to contact with it. Salt in ice melt will cling to their paws where they can lick it and ingest it, which is bad. Dogs can also drink water from melted ice that has ice melt in it. If you have pets or use ice melt where pets may roam, always use pet safe ice melt.
Five: Use a spreader to apply ice melt. A simple hand-held fertilizer spreader works really well, a wheeled version works well for larger areas. This will keep you from using too much, and keep it off your hands. Okay, it’s snowy and icy out, your gloves, not your hands. Still, you don’t want to spread it with your hands. Use a plastic scoop if that’s all you have and spread as evenly as possible. You don’t want clumps or piles here and bare, icy spots there. Kind of defeats the whole purpose.
I’ll bet you didn’t know you needed to know those things. No, ice melt isn’t the sexiest subject around, but here in the Rocky Mountain region, it is a necessity. Have more questions? Need a good selection of ice melt? Stop in and see the helpful folks at your local Ace Hardware store. Tell them Brad Nale sent you!