Ice Melting Products That Cause Less Damage To Your Concrete Surfaces
When you live in cold weather most of the year or at least a few months a year, purchasing a concrete safe ice melt is the most sensible thing to do. While it is vital to ensure the different compositions of the deicers, it is also vital to consider the forms they come in.
Using snow and ice melting products to clear the snow off the sidewalk or driveways, and virtually any place is a task by itself. We take you through the different forms of ice melt to help you make an informed decision.
- Liquid Deicer or Liquid Ice Melt
- Solid Ice Melt
- Concrete Safe Ice Melt
- De-icers that Offer Better Protection for Concrete Surfaces
- Top 4 Mistakes that People Commit
- Other Ice Melt Products
Liquid Deicer or Liquid Ice Melt
Liquid ice melting product is not your regular go-to product to treat icy surfaces or ice-laden sidewalks and driveways. Instead, it has a specific time and way to use, and you have to pay attention to its nuances.
One applies liquid ice melt to surfaces before snowfall or storm. It means you have to be on top of any weather forecast for the next day or the next couple of weeks. You can also apply to surfaces already covered with snow, but the effects will be slightly different from pre-treatment.
- It works as both a de-icing agent and an anti-icing product.
- It tends to stick to the concrete better than any other form of ice melt. It simply embeds into the icy surface and is effective for more extended periods.
- It takes fewer people to apply the liquid ice melt, saving you labor costs.
- It is applied with precision and hence does not scatter as much and is kinder to the flora.
- It takes much longer to work as a de-icing agent and it is not helpful on a layer of thick ice or snow.
- It is costly.
- It needs experienced people to apply and misapplied it can definitely damage your vegetation and prove an ineffective ice melt for concrete.
- Prolonged use may damage your brick, asphalt, concrete, etc.
Solid Ice Melt
Solidice melt products come in granular or pellet form. The most common ice melt product is rock salt or halite. However, there are many other brands and types of solid ice melt available in the market. Homeowners prefer using solid material as it is much easier to use and clean from the sidewalks, driveways, and stairs.
- They are more cost-effective and fit in almost every household budget.
- They are available in local markets.
- They are easy to store and handle. You can store them in your garage, underneath the sink, in your kitchen cabinet, or closet.
- Some of them are more chemical-based and dilute ice more slowly to enable better retention.
- Almost all solid ice melt products offer almost excellent skid resistance.
- They require moisture to increase their effectiveness.
- It takes much longer to melt, particularly in colder temperatures, increasing the wait time to step out stress-free.
- They scatter, roll-off, and bounce quickly, making it difficult to use the recommended quantity. You may end up overusing it.
- Solids bind together if exposed to too much moisture, making it challenging to apply them.
One of the best ice melt that won’t damage concrete is easy to apply, and does not roll off is – Safe Paw. It is considered safe for animals and vegetation as well. It means it will not harm your shrubs when you clear your path.
Concrete Safe Ice Melt
Both solid and liquid ice melt products have their pros and cons while maintaining your sidewalks, driveways, or stairs. Therefore, you need to evaluate the effects before purchase and understand their compounds better.
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.
De-icers that Offer Better Protection for Concrete Surfaces:
The safest product on the market. Safe Paw™ ice melt safe for concrete is the only snowmelt product on the market that 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 and non-toxic deicers that can be used as alternatives to chemical deicers. 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 the application, or where you find any damage on plants.
Get ready for winter with the ONLY Pet Safe Ice Melt you can trust
Top 4 Mistakes that People Commit
With over 100 ice melter brands available in the market, the choice has only become more evaluative. However, even if you end up making the right choice, the only thing that acts as a hindrance is the way to use the product. These are a few mistakes people commit with concrete safe ice melt products.
When you want to select the best ice melt, you need to keep in mind every aspect of its usage. Cleaning up and maintaining concrete, wood, asphalt surfaces, and wood, go without saying, during winters. It would help if you kept a check and balance to ensure that your effort to procure and use ice melt does not go in vain.
The solution to this problem lies with the use of concrete safe ice melt products that offer greater protection to your concrete surfaces.