First it rains. Then it snows. Then it freezes. If you don’t act fast, it will all be frozen solid to your walks and driveway. If you don’t get it cleared off, it will just get worse before the January thaw–if there is one this year. Short of ripping it all up and installing heating coils in a new driveway, a few old tricks may keep that driveway from becoming an ice rink this winter.
8 Most municipalities require ice and snow to be cleared or sanded within 24 hours of the end of a storm. The police will not take you away if you and your neighbors are all in the same boat. Clear as well as you can and sand the rest. Do not try to melt all the ice with salt or calcium chloride. They're too expensive--and toxic--to use by the truckload.
There are two major ice melting compounds. They work by lowering the freezing point of water (32 degrees F). Sodium chloride, or salt, will melt ice when the air temperature is in the twenties--just after a storm most places. If you live in places where the temperature plunges, your best bet is to invest in some calcium choride, which will eat through ice down to 25 below 0 F. Since there's not enough ice melting chemical to melt all the ice--and the stuff isn't that great for concrete or the storm sewers either--use the melter to burrow down under the ice so you can pry it up with a garden shovel or snow shovel. The ice melting chemical eats through the ice and forms a layer of melt between the ice and pavement so that you can pull the top layer off.