Other than scraping, what methods for removing ice from concrete surfaces are least likely to damage the concrete?
Pour Traits, published by Kuert Concrete, Inc., South Bend, Indiana, recently made the following recommendations: "The best method, of course, is a slow warming process which will melt ice naturally. It is not advisable to use chemical preparations, even the traditional stand-by, rock salt (sodium chloride). The chemicals themselves do little harm to the concrete surface, but the rapid heating and then freezing that results from their use causes damage to most concrete surfaces. "When scaling and pitting occur, the concrete itself becomes the major consideration in damage from winter de-icing. If the concrete used was over-wet, if it was finished improperly, or if it was not allowed to cure and age properly, damage is sure to occur. If air-entrained concrete was used, de-icing damage will be limited to the surface area; if non-air-entrained general disintegration is likely. "Most important, though, is the aging factor. The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association gives this warning: 'Chemicals should not be used on concrete less than one year old unless special precautions are taken. In the case of non-air-entrained concrete, this should be a minimum of one year and up to four years prior to the use of de-icing materials.' "If de-icing agents are to be used on a concrete surface, prepare the surface with a mixture of commercial boiled linseed oil or soy bean oil, mixed with gasoline, naphthol, mineral spirits or turpentine. This will permeate the surface and seal out water."