How Do I De-Ice My Front Steps?

By Jay White

May 15, 2014   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

House in Snow

During the middle of winter, many homeowners can slip and fall on icy front steps. This is a very serious danger, especially for senior citizens. This is how to de-ice your front steps.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

One of the primary ways to be successful with de-icing your front steps is to stay ahead of the curve. Ice freezes below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, if you know the temperature will drop that low, then toss a little salt on your front steps as a precaution.

If it snows, then the bottom layer will become watery when it contacts the salt. When you shovel later, it will be easier to remove the ice. Solid ice can be very hard to remove.

Usually, a layer of ice will be under any snow on your front steps. Be careful to find solid footing when you work. Remove the snow layer with a good shovel. Use your legs to lift, not your back. Your legs have more strength.

After you have removed the snow, use an ice chipper to break the ice mass into smaller chunks. When you divide the ice into smaller pieces, it weakens the ice.

Start on the edges, you might be able to get underneath the ice with your shovel or chipper. You can lift the ice up and toss it away to the side. Leaving “islands” of ice will allow any sun to melt the isolated remaining ice pieces.

For solid ice, you could lay down some a layer of salt. This will create some friction, so you don’t fall. Then after 30 minutes, you can return and remove more of the ice that has been melted with the salt.

Electrical Mat Heater

If you have an awning over your front steps, the melting snow might drip on the steps and freeze during the night. Once again, be proactive. A good layer of salt can prevent this ice from becoming a serious problem.

When your elderly parents cannot shovel themselves, you could invest in an electrical heating mat that can keep the ice off their front steps. The mats have electrical heating coils inside that will quickly melt any snow or ice. This is a good solution during the winter to prevent any dangers that could lead to falls.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

Getting Started with Forex

Other Dating Guide

Individual Reviews