What is Ice Melt and Do I Need It?

Posted by Keelie on December 6th, 2020

Many places experience heavy snowfall. As winter approaches, it is time to get prepared and buy the items you may need. Before the first snowfall, it is important to take the necessary steps to reduce or eliminate hazardous icy conditions outside your business or home. The best way to avoid slip and fall accidents due to icy sidewalks, parking lots, and entryways are with the use of the right ice melt. In this article, we will discuss the types of ice melt and how they are used.

What is Ice Melt?

Ice melt is a product that helps by lowering the freezing point of water. It comes in several forms including liquids or solids. The most popular solid form is ice melt pellets. In solid form, ice melt is spread using a salt or sand spreader. This type of ice melt works by absorbing the moisture from the top of the ice and spreading downward to soften the bond between the ice and the ground surface. In liquid form, ice melt is spread using a pump or backpack sprayer or also by a tanker truck. Liquid ice melt works as a pretreatment before it snows. It is applied before snowfall since it is already a brine-type solution. This solution helps by preventing snow or ice to stick to the sidewalks or parking lot.

Which Ice Melt is Best for Me?

Understanding the conditions you will be using the ice melt in will allow you to choose the most effective compound. There are two main things to consider including:

  • Climate

  • Environment considerations

How Will my Climate Affect Ice Melt?

Since ice melt works by lowering the freezing point of water, it is important to understand its lowest effective temperature. Exothermic ice melt works best in extremely cold temperatures. It releases heat and in turn, that increases the amount of moisture on the ice, allowing it to produce greater amounts of liquid solution to penetrate through the ice. Endothermic ice melt works better in milder temperatures. This type draws heat from the surroundings to help dissolve the ice and snow.

Environmental Considerations

When selecting the right ice melt something to consider is, how the chemical compound will affect the surrounding areas of your home or business. If you have plants or vegetation, the use of sustainable products may require you to search for ice melt which is non-toxic or non-harmful to vegetation. Salt can harm a plant's ability to soak up necessary nutrients. You do not want to shovel salty slush onto your lawn instead, you should scoop up what’s left and trash it. Ice melt is easily caught in run-off water and can contaminate groundwater. Vegetation can be affected by the salts in the run-off water.

The best time to start thinking about ice melt is before the first snowfall! Choosing the right ice melt for your home or business will help ensure you are getting the best results to keep you and your guests safe. 
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Joined: May 29th, 2020
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