As the winter season is upon us, you want to be prepared by having deicing product on hand such as rock salt or ice melt. Deicers can help keep you and your family safe from slips and falls. For residential use, generally you can either purchase a rock salt, such as Safe Step or American Rock Salt OR ice melt, such as Road Runner or Ace Ice Melter. The difference is in their chemical composition and how they work to melt ice.

Rock Salt

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Rock salt, also known as Halite, is the mineral form of sodium chloride. Salt lowers the freezing point of water. Small amounts of salt partially melt the ice forming a brine (solution of salt and water). The solution flows under the ice and breaks the bond between the ice and pavement. Rock salt melts down to 20°F and continues to melt as temperature lowers but at a slower rate than ice melt. Helps provide instant traction on snow and ice. This is good for driveways.

Ice Melt

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Ice melt, typically, is a blend of sodium chloride, magnesium chloride pellets, and calcium chloride pellets. Calcium chloride is typically regarded as the best performing ice melt for fast melting and long lasting action. Road Runner is a calcium magnesium blend and melts to -15°F.  It’s a fast acting and begins melting immediately upon impact. It is safe on concrete like sidewalks. Ace Ice Melter is another option. It’s a blend of magnesium and sodium chloride and melts down to -10°F. It effectively resists refreezing and is safer for people, vegetation, and pets than rock salt.

Calcium Chloride Pellets

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When there is thick ice, a great option is Calcium Chloride Pellets. It’s a spherical shape that quickly melts ice. Works down to -25°F and generates heat the instant it contacts ice and snow. It is safer on lawns and concrete.

Pet-Friendly Ice Melt

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If you are concerned for the safety of your pet, you can choose a 100% organic, all natural, salt free ice melter, such as Safe Step “Sure Paws”. It is composed of crystalline amide core infused with special glycols. It is non-toxic, safe for pets and skin, safe for the environment, and less harmful to plants and grass. While being safe, the pet friendly ice melt is also effective and fast acting. It melts down to -15°F.

Here are some helpful tips for using deicing products:

  1. Use shovel or snow blower to clear any snow accumulation.
  2. Apply it in a thin even layer using a salt spreader. If you don’t have a salt spreader, sprinkle it on using a cup or wear gloves and apply it by hand. If you apply too much, thin it out with a broom.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use on the package.

For more information on winter supplies, please speak to one of our associates and visit our Winter Supplies Department.

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