Temperatures are dropping all over Maryland, and folks everywhere are beginning their winter weather preparations. Applying ice melt is an essential part of facility maintenance for properties in Jarrettsville, but not all deicers work the same way. Different products excel in different situations, and knowing when to use each one can be difficult. In this guide, we explore a common question that Jarrettsville home and business owners often ask themselves: what kind of ice melt should I use?
Factors to Consider When Choosing Ice Melt
There are deicers designed to work in a vast array of conditions, and knowing which one to choose can come down to a few factors. Pollution and runoff are critical considerations, and some gentler ice melts are preferable in places with animals, small children, or delicate ecosystems and waterways. Another key factor is cost; while some of these products are eco-friendly, these specialty deicers are often more expensive. Finally, home and business owners must look for a product’s effective or working temperature. This is the lowest temperature at which a product is effective.
Chlorides: Salt and the Ice Melt Standard
The largest class of deicers consists of chloride salts: sodium chloride (table salt), magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride. While there are distinct differences among these three chlorides, they generally share a few qualities. These salts tend to accumulate in the environment and harm many types of plants. They can damage infrastructure over time by facilitating more frequent freeze-thaw cycles (which can worsen pavement damage) and corroding some metals. Still, the relative affordability, ease of use, and availability of chlorides make them among the most popular deicers.
Acetates and Formates: Manufactured Ice Melt
While chloride salts can be naturally occurring and are often easier to produce domestically, manufactured ice melt products containing acetates and formates can be more desirable in some situations. Potassium acetate, sodium acetate, potassium formate, and sodium formate are all manufactured alternatives to chloride salts. These products are often less harmful to plants and aquatic life, and less ice melt can be used, but they are also quite costly compared to chloride salts. Formates are particularly expensive, with significant components of the compounds imported from foreign countries. Still, some locations with sensitive ecosystems may benefit from the use of acetate- or formate-containing deicers.
Questions? Lehnhoff’s Supply is Here to Help
If you still have more questions about how to best prepare your landscape or garden for summer and fall, the trained professionals at Lehnhoff’s Supply are here to help you. Find us at 2708 Belair Road, Fallston, MD 21047 and give us a call at 410-510-7646. For tips, tricks, and to see what we have been up to, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
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.