We Sell Pet-Friendly Ice Melt!
It’s never too early to learn about ice melts – fall is just around the corner and winter won’t be too far behind. Why not be prepared ahead of time? Here you can learn about the process of how ice melt works and which one(s) you may want to consider using this next winter. If you have a pet, we have one of the best products that is safe to use around children and pet-friendly.
Is Ice Melt a Chemical or Physical Reaction?
The simple answer is “Yes”. It can be either or both.
Most people never give it a thought – they simply put ice melt on their driveways and sidewalks then wait for it to do its magic. But most people never think about the process and changes that occur to make the ice melt.
While there may be hundreds of products on the market today basically doing the same thing, different types of ice melt have different properties. Although they all basically react in a similar manner, the chemical profiles vary and have different tolerances.
Here are the four basic types of ice melts and their chemical attributes
Calcium chloride – This chemical is a liquid in its natural state. Once these pellets are scattered, they work at temps down to -25F. However, keep away from lawns, trees, flowers, shrubbery, and any other ornamental greenery. It is non-corrosive to concrete.
Magnesium chloride – This chemical is also a liquid in its natural state. It is considered less corrosive than Calcium Chloride and safer on concrete, with minimal damage to plants.
Sodium chloride (rock salt) – does not melt ice below 20F. Very corrosive to steel, rebar and damaging to vegetation, i.e. lawns, trees, and shrubs.
Potassium chloride and urea – Even though fertilizer contains both of these chemicals, as an ice melt product, they are not necessarily safe around plants and greenery. It is not as corrosive as some of the other chemicals and therefore safer for steel structures and concrete with rebar.
Clay and sand are often added to ice melt to help with traction.
How it works
All ice melts work the same:
Each chemical absorbs ambient moisture, turning it into a solution that generates heat to melt the ice. This is a chemical reaction. Once the solution reaches the pavement this solution spreads out on the ice and breaks the ice’s bond to the pavement – that’s the physical reaction. Once melted into a slurry, the slush, although heavier, is much easier to shovel away.
How to improve ice melt performance:
Ice melts will perform better if applied before ice forms. If heavy icing is not expected, simply spread the product sparingly. If you are expecting heavy snow or ice accumulations, just add a little water to the product to initiate the melting process before spreading. This accelerates the formation of the chemical solution that melts the ice.
Tips when using ice melts
- Check the temp ranges suggested for the product to work within 15 to 20 minutes
- Snow accumulation should be removed
- Wear gloves when applying ice melt products
- Store the product in airtight containers to avoid hardening
Tips for areas with children or pets
Salt Industries is proud to offer a child and pet-friendly ice melt product. This product is a blend of 4 different chlorides. Salt Industries’ Commercial Granular Ice Melt – Ice Slicer – offers other benefits as well:
- 70% Less Corrosive
- Naturally Eco-friendly
- No additives, dyes or stains
- Quick melting power, down to sub-zero temps