I have been using a mattock in the garden for many years, but I recently discovered that it is also a splendid ice-breaker.
My husband spent about an hour yesterday trying to de-ice our front steps. This morning, the lightbulb went off over my head, and I went to my garden tool bag and took out my mattock.
The ice just flew off the stairs, and he had so much “man – fun” doing it that he also chipped a lot of the ice off our driveway. A word of caution: wear glasses or other eye protection when chipping ice, because it really flies around.
That brown fabric under the ice is an ice carpet, a holdover from my life in Montreal. People install them on their stairs and it keeps them from getting slippery. They are made of coco fiber and are very inexpensive and durable. This one is three years old. You still have to clear the snow off it, though….