Lawsuit-Proof the Walk
You don't want anyone's memories of the visit to include bruises or broken bones, so make sure there's no ice for people to slip on. But chemical de-icers damage masonry, plants, and shoes, and fireplace ashes or kitty litter ends up being tracked into the house. To clear the walk in a hurry, follow This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook's advice and gently scrape off whatever ice you can with a long-handled ice chipper. Then, loosen the stubborn bits by pouring a bucket of hot water on them. Just make sure to dry up the water with a towel so it doesn't turn into a new layer of ice.