Will Ice Melt Damage My Asphalt Driveway?

April 24, 2023

Will Ice Melt Damage My Asphalt Driveway?

Generally speaking, asphalt is much stronger than concrete, so it can withstand the freeze-thaw cycles of winter better. Concrete, on the other hand, can crack and heave in very cold temperatures. It also takes snow and ice longer to melt on concrete, too. That being said, depending on whether your driveway material is asphalt or concrete, you might have a ton of ice melt options or very few.

Driveway Material

Choosing the right driveway material plays a big role in how your home looks from the outside. It also determines how much maintenance your driveway will need throughout its lifespan, and how durable it will be in the long run. Asphalt is a popular option for northern climates, since it is pliable and weathers freeze-thaw cycles better than concrete or pavers. It also retains heat, which helps melt snow quickly. Another good option for northern areas is pervious concrete, which has little to no sand in its mix. This type of driveway is environmentally friendly and can add an attractive, textured look to your property’s exterior. However, pervious concrete may be more costly than other types of driveways and requires regular maintenance to keep it in good condition. It is also known to crack fairly easily, so it’s important to hire a professional to install it properly.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is one of the best options for melting ice on asphalt driveways. It’s effective at low temperatures (-25 degrees) and doesn’t refreeze quickly, preventing damage from a freeze-thaw cycle.  In fact, it’s one of the only products to effectively remove ice on asphalt when temperatures go as low as minus-25. It can also clear three times as much surface area as rock salt, pound for pound, which means you’ll use less product to do the same amount of work. This is a great thing when it comes to removing slush and snow from your driveway, as well as when you need to spread ice melt pellets over a large area.

Magnesium Chloride

Another option is magnesium chloride. This is also effective at low temperatures but is less damaging to concrete and asphalt. This ice melt is safe for use on asphalt, but isn’t suitable for concrete driveways. Using too much can leave a greasy residue and cause corrosive damage to the driveway, as well as plants and metals. This ice melt is also very easy to apply and comes in a container that keeps children, pets, and other animals out of the product. It’s not as harsh on your asphalt as some other ice melts and is less expensive than many alternatives.

Calcium Magnesium Acetate

While there are several de-icing options that don’t damage your asphalt, one of the best is calcium magnesium acetate, or CMA for short. CMA is a granulated, crystallized, low corrosion, environmental alternative to road salt that was identified by the Federal Highway Administration in the 1970s as a solution to environmental problems associated with corrosion and concrete spalling. It’s less caustic than rock salt, so it won’t corrode your concrete or asphalt over time. It’s also pet-friendly, plant-friendly, and ideal for use as a pre-treatment to prevent ice from bonding to your driveway or sidewalk. With that said, it’s an excellent option for both residential and commercial properties. It works well at lower temperatures and can be mixed with other deicing agents to create a more effective solution.


Ultimately, what type of ice melter is best for your property will depend on a number of factors. It’s important to know how cold your area typically gets and what types of traffic you typically get on your driveway or sidewalk. With that information, you can make an informed decision and protect your paving surfaces this winter!

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Paveco Inc.