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In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shares tips for clearing a concrete walkway after a snowstorm.


  1. The best strategy is to always shovel snow off of walkway before it gets trampled and packed down.
  2. Throw the snow far enough away from the walk, so that when it melts, it doesn't drain back onto the walkway and freeze into ice sheets.
  3. If the snow is packed tight, use an ice chipper to break up the snow and ice and scrape it off the walkway.
  4. To melt ice, try sprinkling the surface with rock salt, which is effective down to 15F. However, be aware that rock salt can damage lawns and plants.
  5. Calcium chloride pellets can melt snow in temperatures down to minus-20F. But again, this product can damage lawns and plants.
  6. Urea is a fertilizer that can also be used to melt ice, and is safe for lawns and plants.
  7. Sand won't melt ice, but when sprinkled over packed snow and ice, it does provide excellent traction.
  8. Use a broadcast spreader to sparingly apply the deicer.
  9. Once the ice starts to melt, scrape the surface clean to prevent the deicer from damaging the concrete walkway.
  10. When entering the house, be sure to remove your shoes or boots to prevent tracking the deicer or sand indoors.