How to Melt Snow on a Driveway Fast

Snowy driveways, walkways and sidewalks are an annoyance and hazard that many home and business owners in colder regions face each winter. Some municipalities or homeowners associations have ordinances that call for timely removal of snow and ice from sidewalks and portions of driveways. A regimen that combines regular physical removal of snow with the application of de-icing compounds or salts will help to maintain a snow-free driveway. Electric heating cables can also result in faster, less labor-intensive melting.

The thinner the snow layer, the easier it will be to remove with a de-icing compound.

Step 1

Pre-treat the driveway by scattering a thin layer of chemical de-icing compound evenly across the driveway surface before any snow events. This will prevent the formation of an ice layer bonded to the driveway surface under the snow.

Step 2

Manually remove as much of the snow as possible by shoveling, plowing or blowing. Pile the snow where it will not cause any problems, taking into consideration where the melt will eventually run off to. The more quickly snow can be removed during and after snow events, the easier removal will be.

Step 3

Apply a de-icing compound evenly across the driveway. The thinner the snow or ice layer, the faster the compound will be able to clear the driveway. There are many de-icing compounds available, ranging from the inexpensive but corrosive sodium chloride to a more expensive but less corrosive option like calcium magnesium acetate.

Step 4

Lay down, if desired, waterproof electric heating cables to supplement de-icing compounds or as an alternative to chemicals. Loop the cables back and forth across the driveway so that no two portions of the cable intersect.

Angela Ryczkowski

Angela Ryczkowski is a professional writer who has served as a greenhouse manager and certified wildland firefighter. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban and regional studies.