How to Choose the Right Deicing Product
There are many types of deicing products available, and they all have different uses. Many people think deicing is simple. They just need to drop salt in cold temperatures and expect it to melt the ice. There’s many factors that affect the effectiveness of a deicer and can dictate where and when a product should be used.
Some factors include, but are not limited too:
Surface Type to Deicing Material
You will most often be treating an asphalt or concrete driveway/sidewalk. There will be some corrosion when you apply any chloride-based deicing product to concrete surfaces (rock salt is sodium–chloride). You can reduce the damage that is caused by repeated deicing. Calcium Magnesium Acetate is used at airports and parking garages. These are steps you can follow to apply the deicer. This will reduce the amount of the deicer that is used and the amount that gets on the surface that you want to protect. These are the steps to follow.
First, remove any snow or ice that is still on the ground.
Use the spreader to apply the deicer evenly and sparingly.
After applying, sweep any areas that are not covered with a broom.
You can break up any ice that is loose during melting if you have the chance.
Decking and any other wooden surface can also be affected by the wrong product. Two potential dangers can be created by the application of a chloride-based product, for example. First, the chloride can corrode fasteners that hold the deck together. The second is that the brine will attract water in the wood pores, allowing the water to freeze as black ice.
Runoff of the brine solution can cause collateral damage to the surface. If the brine solution is absorbed into the soil, it can cause damage to the lawn or plants next to the driveway.
The area with high salt concentrations will see water diffuse from the plant. Because water moves from high concentration areas to low concentrations (osmosis), this is what happens. The plant will have high water concentration, while the’salty’ area will have low water concentration. The plant becomes dehydrated once the water has diffused outside.
Temperature of Snow and Ice
Temperature is a big factor that can affect the deicing product you choose. There are many deicing products that have different operating temperatures. Rock salt (sodium chlorineide) is effective up to 20F, then the reaction with ice slows down as the temperature drops. Calcium chloride is the right product for you. It is fast to react and has a melting range of -25F. There are many products that can fill the temperature range. This is because there is a correlation between deicing product effectiveness and price.
Deicing Material Cost
The effectiveness of deicing products in different temperatures and conditions will affect the cost. Winter storms can strike at any moment. Deicing products should always be on hand. It is important to have enough stock, but not too much. This can cause excess product at the end if it is a mild winter. This is an expense that could be avoided or at least minimized. If you cannot afford to run out of deicing products but still need to maintain inventory value, then a lower-cost (but possibly less effective) product with a higher volume may be the best option. If you only care about extreme temperatures, a lower cost product with a smaller volume might be right for you.
Snow and ice control are a delicate balance. Performance, generally defined as a dark and wet surface, must be balanced against adverse consequences. This includes everything from cost to the best chemistry for your environment, and collateral impact.