Ice Melting Products That Cause Less Damage To Your Concrete Surfaces
There are a number of ice melt products that cause less harm to concrete. A larger number of people tend to think that concrete is impervious to almost every substance. The fact of the matter is that concrete acts almost like a blotter and as such, it absorbs some of the chemicals used as deicers.
When you spread sodium chloride or potassium chloride on your driveway or sidewalks, it will keep it free of ice down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some of the salt-water mix (brine) will eventually seep into the concrete. Once the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, this mixture of water and salt will freeze. The freezing of this brine will cause the water to expand and therefore cause cracks to appear on the concrete surface.
The solution to this problem lies with the use of ice melt products that offer greater protection to your concrete surfaces.
De-icers that offer better protection for concrete surfaces:
The safest product on the market. Safe Paw™ is the only 100% salt-free ice melter on the market and it is 100% safe for pets, children, surfaces, and the environment. Safe Paw’s pellets are green to make it easy for consumers to distinguish it from rock salt and salt-based ice melters. Safe Paw benefits include:
- Guaranteed safe for pets and children
- Environmentally safe
- Won’t harm decking of any kind
- Safe on asphalt, concrete, and pavers
- Safe on plants and shrubs
- Proprietary traction agent (helps prevent slips and falls)
- Won’t stain or destroy flooring
This is a traditional ice melt which melts ice down to temperatures of -25 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat that it gives off as it dissolves help melt ice easily. Calcium chloride has a greater ability to attract and retain moisture from its surroundings. This allows it to dissolve easily and therefore start the melting process faster.
Magnesium chloride has almost the same qualities as sodium chloride but it is more popular. It is less damaging to concrete and safer on plants.
Urea is commonly used as a fertilizer but it also used as an effective ice melt product. It melts ice down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. However, over application can cause damage to vegetation.
Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA)
This product is made from dolomitic limestone and acetic acid. It is less harmful to concrete and vegetation. However, it becomes less effective as temperatures dip to less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. As opposed to other ice melt products, it does not form brine-like salts. It works by preventing snow particles from sticking to each other on the concrete surface.
Magic minus Zero
This is a liquid de-icing agent. It is manufactured from a blend of magnesium chloride mixed with an agricultural by-product of the distilling process. The product is non-toxic and bio-degradable. It has a lower corrosion index than that of distilled water. This product can be applied directly to paved surfaces before the onset of winter.
There are some natural products that can be used as alternatives to chemical dicers. However, they are less effective and they cause less damage to concrete and vegetation. They include the following:
- Wood shavings
- Kitty litter
Their effectiveness comes from their gritty and anti-slip qualities. They provide good traction that makes it easier to walk on ice. They do not melt the ice. They are usually mixed with ice melter products to minimize the use of chemical deicers.
You need to observe the following precautions when using deicers:
- Do not over apply deicing products. Ensure that you follow the instructions on the label carefully
- Before applying deicing products, clear all the snow from the concrete surfaces
- Always wear gloves because de-icers are corrosive
- Never use deicing chemicals in new concrete that is not fully cured
Remember that all chemical products have a negative effect on the environment. Flush your concrete surfaces with water if you suspect any over application, or where you find any damage on plants.