How to Keep Snow From Covering Your Driveway (w/ & w/o Chemicals)

There is nothing worse than waking up one morning to find that your driveway is covered in snow. No one enjoys shoveling snow, but luckily there are ways that you can keep your driveway and walkway snow-free all winter.

You can keep your driveway from getting snow by applying a deicer before it snows, using an anti-ice product or installing a heated driveway. 

Deicers

Chemical deicers are a very efficient way to prevent snow from piling up on your driveway. They are typically used to help the snow and ice melt faster, but if you apply before snow, they can also work to prevent any sticking to the ground.

For deicers to work, sprinkle them on your driveway just before it starts to snow. This will allow them to work toward melting the snow before it can stick to the surface. You can also use deicers after snow by applying it to the surface of the fresh snow for quick melting.

Sodium Chloride/Rock Salt

Sodium chloride, also known as rock salt, is a simple way to prevent snow and ice buildup on your driveway. The product quickly melts ice and snow and can perform in temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. 

There are some downsides to this deicer, including the clean-up and re-application needed. Each time it snows, you will need to re-apply the rock salt to your driveway to ensure effectiveness. There is also the potential of rock salt damaging plants or irritating the skin of pets if they come in contact with it.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is another chemical deicer, but it melts snow and ice at a much faster rate than rock salt. It also performs in lower temperatures, working as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. This option is also considered less harmful than rock salt, but it does require the same clean-up and re-application after each snow.

Potassium Chloride

Potassium chloride will work to prevent ice and snow from sticking to your driveway in temperatures down to 12 degrees Fahrenheit. It is still harmful to nearby plants, but not as bad as some of the other chemical options. This chemical also doesn’t work as quickly as some of the others, so keep that in mind.

Calcium Magnesium Acetate

This option is much safer for the environment than the other chemical deicers. The only downfall is that it doesn’t perform in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This means it might not always work for keeping your driveway snow-free.

Natural Deicer

Natural deicers are made from natural ingredients that are going to be safe for the environment and use around pets. You can usually find this at your local hardware store or pet store, but it is likely going to be more expensive than other deicers.

Anti-Icer

An anti-icer is basically just a liquid version of a deicer that is made specifically to be applied to the surface before snow starts. The anti-icer can be applied up to 48 hours before the snow starts, but the fresher the better. 

What an anti-icer does is turns the first half of an inch of snow into slush in temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it possible to effortlessly get rid of any snow that has built up on the surface.

Anti-icers also prevent ice from forming and sticking to your driveway. You will need to make sure you cover the entire driveway with the liquid to ensure there are no small ice or snow patches that slip through the cracks and cause you to slip.

Heated Driveway

A heated driveway is one of the most genius inventions. It heats up the surface of your driveway and prevents both ice and snow from sticking to the surface. 

This is going to be the most expensive option for keeping your driveway snow-free, but it will be worth it for many reasons.

Heated mats are installed underneath the surface of your driveway. They will automatically start warming and heating when snow falls to prevent buildup of snow and ice. 

Adding a heated driveway can also increase the value of your home if you decide you want to sell it in the future. This will be a desirable feature that many people will pay good money for.

Although this is the most expensive and time-consuming option, it is going to be the best option. You won’t ever have to worry about snow or ice accumulating on your driveway again. 

Cover Your Driveway

Another way to keep snow off your driveway is to cover it. You can do this by laying down a tarp or plastic sheet over the area of your driveway that you want to prevent snow. 

If you are expecting to get a lot of snow, it will be beneficial to have several small pieces of tarp instead of one large one. This will decrease the effort needed for removal.

When you have your tarp(s) laid out, you are going to want to use rope or string to make handles on the corners. This will make it easier for you to move the tarp when you’re ready.

When the snow falls, find the handles you made and pull the tarp carefully off your driveway. Pull the tarp toward your yard instead of into the road to prevent placing the snow somewhere unsafe.

You will need to repeat this every time the snow falls, which can be a hassle if it snows in the middle of the night when you are sleeping or middle of the day when you are at work. This also isn’t the best option if you have a large driveway.

Traction 

If you aren’t worried as much about the snow as you are about slipping, you can save yourself time, effort, and money by adding some traction to your driveway before the snow falls. You can use sand, wood chips, or straw for traction.

It is important to remember that this will not melt the snow or ice, it will just help you keep your feet on the ground.