While many Marylanders are still waiting for the first snow of the season, below-freezing temperatures are already a daily occurrence throughout the state. It’s only a matter of time before snow and ice descend upon your property. Are you ready? Using the right type of ice melt is critical for protecting you, your guests, and your property. The types of ice melt you use will depend on factors like the weather forecast and your budget, as well as things like plants, animals, and building materials that may be nearby. This week, we’ll discuss the different types of ice melt you may choose to manage snow and ice, as well as how these deicers can interact with the surfaces you are trying to protect. Once you’ve studied ice melt varieties and best practices, make sure to visit Lehnhoff’s Supply to stock up on everything you need!
Ice Melt for Concrete, Asphalt, and Wood
Your property likely features concrete or asphalt surfaces like walkways, driveways, and steps. These surfaces can last for quite a while if you take care of them properly, and that includes selecting the right type of ice melt. Rock salt is affordable and easy to find. Still, it may not be the best choice for paved surfaces if temperatures are expected to drop below the salt’s lowest effective temperature of 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Below this temperature, the brine it produces can seep into cracks and refreeze, causing damage. Alternatives like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride have much lower effective temperatures and may be better if extremely low temperatures are on the forecast. Using ice melt on wood can be a bit trickier; calcium magnesium acetate is typically recommended for use on wood surfaces, but it is a specialty product that can be difficult to find.
Protect Stone and Plants When Using Rock Salt
While rock salt isn’t ideal for temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be used in some warmer-weather situations if homeowners follow a few precautions. Apply salt sparingly before snow falls to prevent it from sticking. Shoveling regularly during snowfall minimizes snow and ice buildup and allows you to use less rock salt to keep walkways clear. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying ice melt. Once snowfall has ceased and temperatures rise, keep an eye out for rain. If there’s no chance of rain and the melting runoff is flowing toward nearby plants, consider using a hose to flush out excess salt in your soil. Minimizing exposure to salt and mitigating buildup is essential for the longevity of your property’s natural stone, plants, and hardscape elements.
Questions? Lehnhoff’s Supply is Here to Help
If you still have more questions about how to best prepare your landscape or garden for winter or spring, the trained professionals at Lehnhoff’s Supply are here to help you.
We serve but aren’t limited to, the following parts of Maryland: Harford County – Fallston, Forest Hill, Joppa, Edgewood, Bel Air, Churchville, Havre de Grace, Jarrettsville, Street, Aberdeen, Abingdon, and Joppatowne. In Baltimore County: Kingsville, Perry Hall, Overlea, Fullerton, Nottingham, Parkville, Towson, Carney, Loch Raven, Lutherville, Timonium, Hunt Valley, Cockeysville, Sparks, Glyndon, Pikesville, Reisterstown, Ruxton, Parkton, Glen Arm, Baldwin, Monkton, Long Green, White Marsh, Rosedale, Phoenix, and Fork.