Winter is coming, and now is the perfect time to start your winter preparations, such as ice melt. We’ve all experienced the hazards of winter: snowstorms, power outages, and roads and sidewalks covered in a sheet of ice. Keeping your parking lots and sidewalks free of ice and safe for walking and driving is essential. As you search for the best ice melt for your property, we have some important facts to guide your selection.
Different Types of Ice Melt
There are two basic types of ice melt: sodium chloride-based or magnesium chloride-based. Sodium chloride-based ice melt, or rock salt, is the least expensive and effective at freezing temperatures. Rock salt loses its melting ability below 20 F. It is safe on asphalt but is very damaging to concrete surfaces. Rock salt can also damage plants or grass near the application sites.
Magnesium chloride-based ice melt is very effective at colder temperatures, is safer to use on concrete, and causes much less plant damage. They are also more expensive per pound, but you will use less because it’s more effective.
How Ice Melt Works
Ice melts diminish ice by lowering the freezing point of water. The ice melt attracts moisture, forming a liquid brine solution that generates heat. The ice melt can melt the ice with this heat. As the ice melt works through the ice, its own temperature slowly decreases. This means that after a certain point, the ice melt’s concentration is reduced, leaving the freezing point of water to increase again. Add more ice melt to power through the ice and keep the freezing point low to combat this. It won’t rapidly speed up the process, but this will continue fighting against the ice.
When to Use Ice Melt
The first application of ice melt should come before the first snowfall. A light amount prevents ice from bonding to pavement, making shoveling much easier.
Temperatures are higher while the sun is up and dropping at night. As a result, freeze/thaw cycles create dangerous ice slicks on the previously shoveled pavement. For frigid nights, sprinkling another light application over your shoveled areas may be helpful to prevent another freeze cycle.
Storing Ice Melt
Store open bags of ice melt in airtight containers and keep them away from moisture, air, and sunlight, as this will prevent clumping and hardening. Store unopened bags as is.
Remember, if you have asphalt, use rock salt; if you have concrete, use magnesium chloride-based ice melt. Lehnhoff’s Supply offers both kinds of ice melt! Stock up today before it’s too late.
Questions? Lehnhoff’s Supply is Here to Help
If you still have more questions about ice melt, the trained professionals at Lehnhoff’s Supply are here to help you.
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