A popular ingredient in de-icing salt treatments for sidewalks and roads is Sodium Chloride (NaCl). Salt run off from de-icing can be damaging to grass and plants by contributing to soil compaction because of the way salt molecules bind with soil particles. Compaction reduces the ability of water and oxygen to move through soils and be taken up by the roots.
When de-icing your driveway, sidewalk, or stairs consider the use of an environmentally friendly de-icer with an ingredient such as Calcium Chloride. If salt is transferred onto your property by your car driving on salted roadways or by a salt truck in your neighborhood consider rinsing effected plants and grass with water. Also, soil conditioners and core aeration can help soil and grass recover from salt damage.