Be Careful with Rock Salt this Winter.
**Although effective, it can do damage**
During the winter months, homeowners are often advised to stock up on plenty of rock salt or ice melt in order to eliminate slippery surfaces and protect their properties.
While people assume that “ice melt” is an umbrella term for any product used to melt ice, we are frequently asked by our customers about the differences between rock salt and ice melt.
The Pros of Rock Salt
Rock salt is one of the most affordable methods for melting ice. Rock salt will effectively keep surfaces free of ice in temperatures down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, 7 degrees lower than the freezing point.
Although most people are familiar with rock salt and its effectiveness at lowering the freezing point of water, many don’t realize that other considerations should be made prior to its use. First, rock salt can actually cause harm to plant life. If the surface that you’re planning to coat with rock salt is located near highly vegetated areas, you may want to consider an environmentally and plant-safe alternative.
Pet owners should also be aware that rock salt can be dangerous when animals are exposed to it. Should rock salt become stuck between the pads of a dog or cat’s paws, it could cause burning and irritation, and if ingested could lead to gastrointestinal issues. Seek out a pet-friendly de-icer to avoid problems like these.
Finally, be advised that in areas where temperatures frequently drop below 25 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be in your best interest to go with an ice melt that is effective at lower temperatures.
There are a number of different varieties of ice melt but they’re primarily comprised of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride and potassium chloride. Of these, calcium chloride is generally accepted as the most effective.
The Pros of Ice Melt
Many ice melting products – especially those varieties which include calcium chloride – can lower the freezing temperature of ice in extremely cold temperatures. You may find products that are able to work down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because a number of ice melts are engineered not only to form a brine, but also to generate heat.
This not only makes the product more effective, but also faster acting. In addition to this, you’ll find a number of types of ice melts, all of which serve distinct purposes. Some are environmentally friendly, some are designed to be safe for children, some have been approved as pet-friendly, and some that do all three.
The material that you choose to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property against icy conditions will depend on your own specific set of needs. Those with only the most basic of requirements may benefit from traditional rock salt.
Home and business owners with special considerations for plants, children and pets, on the other hand, should take a look at ice melters designed to address these needs.
Posted: to General News on Tue, Jan 23, 2018
Updated: Tue, Jan 23, 2018