Maintain your driveway in the Winter : know the 5 common chemical de-icers

Maintain your driveway in the Winter : know the 5 common chemical de-icers

The best deicer is the non-chemical backbreaking solution… the snow shovel. However, proper use of a chemical deicer can ease your battle with snow and ice. All de-icing products have an effect on plant life, whether you see it right away or not, but some types are harder on plants than others. Some may damage concrete or metal or even harm pets.

Therefore, When deciding on which deicer to use, you should read the ingredients to determine what you are really purchasing and follow directions carefully.Following are some of the pros and cons of the 5 most used chemicals for deicing:

 

Sodium Chloride (Rock Salt) 

Pros:

  • Lease expensive
  • Effective down to  18F

Cons:

  • Can kill plants
  • Damage concrete and metal
  • Poisons the solid
  • Harm pets
  • Begins to lose its effectiveness below  18F
  • Not recommended for home use

 

Calcium Chloride

Pros:

  • - Cost commonly used household de-icer
  • - Works quickly
  • Works at extremely low temperatures 5F
  • Isn’t as damaging to the soil and vegetation as sodium chloride
  • Give off heat as it melts
  • It melts ice faster than other common deicers

Cons:

  • Cost more than sodium chloride
  • Although has little chemical effect on concrete or vegetation, still damage concrete and metal , and harm plants
  • It tends to attract moisture from the air even after melting the ice, causing pavements to remain moist. . If the moisture refreezes, it creates icy conditions, and the ice expansion can cause surface damage.
  • All deicers must be in solution (liquid) in order to start working
  • Makes walks and steps very slippery.

 

Urea 

Pros:

  • Urea is a safer alternative for households with dogs or cats.
  • Effective down to 21 F
  • Less damaging to concrete
  • Less damage to plant life than potassium chloride does.
  • - Have significant ice melting capabilities

Cons:

  • Can burn vegetation and cause damage
  • When the temperatures are extremely frigid,  will not work
  • More costly
  • Extremely corrosive to metal

 

Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA)

Pros:

  • Works very fast
  • Better at preventing water from re-freezing than at melting snow and ice
  • Often used in areas that are environmentally sensitive

Cons:

  • Only good down to 18 F
  • Lot more expensive than other de-icers
  • Little damage to concrete or plants
  • Tends to leave a slush, which may be undesirable for sidewalks or driveways

 

Potassium Chloride

Pros:

  • It is relatively kind to vegetation and concrete
  • Works well when mixed 50/50 with rock salt
  • It’s relatively safe unless over-applied

Cons

  • More expensive than other products
  • Doesn’t work at extremely low temperatures

 

Evaluating equipment options and understanding ways to maximize the effectiveness of deicing materials are essential for the success of snow and ice removal plans. Before you apply a deicer, remove as much snow and ice as possible.Deicing products are most effective when they are applied to a thin layer of ice. It’s better avoid to use chemical de-icers if possible, do not use or apply only on the trouble spots.

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