Thick Layer of Rock Hard Ice-Snow - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-10-2019, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thick Layer of Rock Hard Ice-Snow

Even when you try your best sometimes Mother Nature can get ahead of you. I'm talking about that wintry mix of wet snow, slush, ice pellets, freezing rain, plain old rain etc. that can accumulate and freeze solid before you get a chance to clear it. When the temperature drops to -20 it all turns into a solid mass that normal machines just ride on top of. Salt does nothing because it's too cold. So, what's the best way to get rid of it short of setting a flame thrower on it - or tossing a stick of dynamite...
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-10-2019, 01:30 PM
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An ice-breaker tool like this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Razor-Ba...1100/206099849
Or one of the ones that has a slide hammer built in, similar to one of these log splitters: https://ak1.ostkcdn.com/images/products/L12414196.jpg
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-10-2019, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah. That's what you have to do. I also have a real heavy steel shovel that cracks the ice if you slam it down hard. Once you get under it the stuff (hopefully) lifts off in sheets. Heavy, grunt work though...
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-10-2019, 01:48 PM
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It's not always an option, of course, but I've had the most success with trying to avoid it in the first place, if at all possible. If the storm is going to turn to slush/rain at the end, then I'll try to wait until the storm is finished. Then clear it, with the slushy stuff on top, rather than directly on the driveway. Even if it had already gotten icy, I'd much rather have the icy layer on top of the snow, than on the driveway.

But you don't always get that lucky, of course, to have a layer of real snow first. I've used a shovel, or an edger (?) to try and chop up the ice that's directly on the driveway. My edger, if that's what it's really called, looks like this, but the blade is flat, not curved:



But doing it that way really sucks, and is much more successful if it's also getting warm out, so the ice might detach from the driveway itself. I'd love to learn about better ways to do this. Do any of the ice melt products (not just straight salt) work at the temperatures you need?

Consumer Reports says calcium chloride can work down to -25F.
https://www.consumerreports.org/exte...-use-ice-melt/
This calcium chloride claims to work down to -40F/-40C:


And this one says -25F:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/50-lb-Ca...7892/202590325

It seems like an ice-melt product may be the most practical approach, if you need to do a fairly big area. Unless you have a spare jet engine sitting in the back of the garage, perhaps.

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post #5 of 7 Old 02-10-2019, 01:55 PM
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-10-2019, 07:12 PM
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Garage
I have a Stihl backpack blower that has an optional (I don't have) flame thrower! It's used for burning brush, melting stadium steps, neighbo...

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post #7 of 7 Old 02-10-2019, 07:19 PM
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Uhh, what was that last one?

We just started watching the TV show Fargo. But going back to the movie, just use a wood chipper! Less risk of causing a brush fire.

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