Winter time in the northeast means snow and ice events over the next 3 months. As a home owner or business owner you may need to ask yourself; should I be using salt or ice melt?
This has been the go-to product for melting ice during the winter months of the year. Unbeknown to many people, rock salt (also known as halite) is basically sodium chloride in mineral form. It works by penetrating the surface of ice thus forming a strong solution of water and salt, which is commonly referred to as brine. Since salt and brine’s freezing point is significantly lower than that of water, the ice will start melting, and won’t form again provided that adequate rock salt is available. Typically, rock salt establishes grit and gravel particles that increase traction on driveways, walkways, and even stairs.
Pros and Cons of Rock Salt
Rock salt remains one of the cheapest ice melting products. It is also readily available in retail outlets except when there are extreme shortages due to weather. This means homeowners should think ahead and purchase before they need it What’s more, rock salt can effectively be used to prevent the accumulation of salt in surfaces since it has a low freezing point of 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Despite its effectiveness, several factors ought to be considered before choosing rock salt. This product may be harmful to plant life. Therefore, it shouldn’t be used near vegetated areas. Rock salt is similarly dangerous to pets since it causes gastrointestinal disorders when ingested.
Ice melt products are made from magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride or sodium chloride. Ice melt made from calcium chloride is the most effective, and also the most widely used. Ice melt differs from rock salt because it is more pet friendly. In addition, it doesn’t harm plant life as much as rock salt. Nonetheless, some ice melt is coated with Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) to make it safer.
Pros and Cons of Ice Melts
Most ice melting products that contain calcium chloride have the ability to lower the freezing point of water. Ice melt not only forms brine but also has the ability to generate chemical heat. This means it is effective at melting ice, and also does this faster than other products. Besides this, there are different varieties of ice melts, all of which serve different purposes.
Ultimately the choice is up to you. Ice melt will offer other benefits in addition to melting the snow/ice. If you have pets you may consider the additional benefits of ice melt. Of course there is always a price tag along with additional benefits.