Asphalt paving contractors generally have some good advice when it comes to keeping asphalt and concrete clear of snow and ice. It is important to follow this advice, considering the the expense of creating a concrete surface and/or an asphalt-covered surface. If you have recently had any sort of concrete or asphalt work done through a paving contractor, here is what most of these contractors recommend in terms of care and the clearing of snow and ice.
Clear the Snow Often to Avoid Accumulation and the Transformation to Ice
Ice tends to form when the ground is warmer than the air above it. Ice will also form when snow melts and freezes. The idea with new pavement and new asphalt is to clear the snow often and attempt to break up freezing patches of ice on the surface with a long-handled ice pick. The pick does far less damage to the surface of the new pavement/asphalt than any chemical treatment. By clearing snow often, it is also possible to avoid the transformation to, and accumulation of, ice.
Avoid Using Salt
Salt will melt ice, but at a cost to your new concrete and asphalt. Salt has a way of pitting concrete, and it is very abrasive to asphalt. While salt is cheap, and therefore the more commonly used product to deal with snow and ice, it should still be avoided. Salt-based chemical treatments for de-icing roads should also be avoided, if possible. There are other treatments that cost a little more, but the end result is that you will not be patching or repairing your new concrete/asphalt two years or less from now.
Sand Is Best
Sand retains heat. If you have a warm place to store the sand, or you can heat the sand in some way, it will easily melt ice. When the ice melts, it mixes with the sand, and washes away, leaving virtually no damage to your concrete or asphalt. Any sand that slips onto areas where grass and soil are in warmer months will not be compromised come spring, unlike rock salt and chemical treatments for de-icing. The sand does not rely on temperatures above freezing to be effective either, which is a common problem with rock salt and salt-based treatments. Additionally, when you need more traction over the ice and snow, the sand will give you the traction you need to avoid slips and falls, and prevent tires from spinning and sliding.