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Is It Safe to Use a Deicing Product On My Sidewalk?

It's not always a good idea to apply deicing products to your sidewalks.

It’s not always a good idea to apply deicing products to your sidewalks.

In the winter many turn to the deicing product of their choice to keep their properties ice free. Ice can make concrete sidewalks slippery and potentially dangerous and possibly even damage certain materials over time. While shovels are often the safest way for removing snow and ice from masonry, it is not always enough to remove them completely. This is when people turn to a deicing product. However, excessive use of any deicing product comes with consequences. It can degrade masonry surfaces, damage mortar joints, and harm nearby vegetation.

Deicing Product And Salt Fretting

There are numerous types of deicing product sold at various hardware stores. While these will undoubtedly melt snow, overuse has consequences for your sidewalk. Masonry surfaces can scale and flake when overexposed to these chemicals. This degradation is referred to as salt fretting and can often be found where the sidewalk and the bottom of a building meet. Severe fretting and even the loss of pieces of buildings and sidewalks are possible when a deicing product is overused.

What To Know Before You Buy A Deicing Product

  • Never use deicing product on a sidewalk that is younger than six months old.
  • Read the labels carefully. Don’t use products containing ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate as they break down masonry.
  • Applying deicers near vegetation can kill plants and ruin the soil.  
  • Use sand in combination with a deicer for better traction.  

Deicing Tips

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions completely. Before you apply any deicing product, be sure to remove as much snow and ice as possible with a shovel. Only use it in areas of high foot traffic and be sure to keep it away from the base of your building. As the snow and ice melts, keep the slush away from the base of your building too. When spring comes, be sure to wash down any sidewalks and building bases that have been deicide to get rid of the product residue.

Del Prete Masonry Has Got You Covered!

If you are ready to upgrade your property, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.


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