Ice Melt Products
There are a number of ice melt products on the market, and all of them have their advantages. Some will work at lower temperatures, some are less corrosive than others and some are safer for the environment, including plant life and pets. Some are also less toxic to children
.Sodium chloride, or rock salt, is one of the effective ice melt products down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not harmful to concrete like some products can be. It is corrosive, and should be used with caution around metals and other materials subject to corrosion or rust. It should not be used around grass, trees, bushes, shrubs or other plants that might be harmed by salt or salt products.
ice melt products also include calcium chloride. This product is effective down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. It absorbs moisture and is very effective. Though it works well at very low temperatures, it must be used with caution around plant life.
Magnesium chloride is similar to calcium chloride but is less corrosive. It is easier on concrete surfaces and less harmful to surrounding plant life. It is one of the safer ice melt products to use around pets and children. It can be used before freezing precipitation to help prevent icing of surfaces and also after freezing has occurred to melt the ice and snow away. Many highway departments have begun using magnesium chloride instead of rock salt to prevent and remove icing on the streets and highways.
Potassium chloride is an ingredient in fertilizer, but it is also one of the effectively used ice melt products available. Even though it has chemical similarities to some fertilizers, it can be harmful to plant life in heavy doses. It is also one of the ice melt products that is safer to use around steel and other metal structures. It is also not damaging to concrete surfaces.
Urea is another of the ice melt products than can be found in fertilizer but are not safe for plant life in high quantities or with repeated exposure. It is safer than some other ice melt products on concrete surfaces and around steel and other metals.
Sand and clay are often mixed with ice melting products to help with traction. This, in addition to getting rid of the ice, can help prevent slips and falls. Ice slips and falls are a large contributor to high insurance rates in some regions. They affect the rates of home owner's policies and business liability policies. Auto insurance rates can also be reduced by preventing more accidents with the use of sand and other additives in ice melt products that increase traction and reduce sliding that leads to many roadway accidents each year.