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Ice Melting Products That Cause Less Damage To Your Concrete Surfaces

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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

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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. 

Cons

  • 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

Safe Paw Pet Safe Ice Melt

Safe Paw

The Original and the #1 Pet and Child Safe Ice Melt for over 20 years. Guaranteed environmentally safe – will not harm waterways and sensitive wetlands.

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:

Safe Paw

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
Safe Paw Ice Melt For Concrete

Get ready for winter with the ONLY Pet Safe Ice Melt you can trust

    

Calcium Chloride

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

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

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.

Natural De-icers

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:

  • Sand
  • Sawdust
  • Wood shavings
  • Straw
  • 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.

Precautions

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.

Reading application directions is vital while using any ice melt product. All the instructions are clearly written on the package itself to make it easier for you.

For example-
If you are using magnesium chloride or calcium chloride ice melt, the instructions clearly state the use of gloves while applying it. In addition, it consecutively warns the use of the product on the roof to melt ice as it may damage the material.

If rock salt is spread on a parking lot, it will eventually find its way into a drainage system, making it more harmful.

Some packages also warn that you should not use a de-icing agent on any new concrete that is less than 12 months old as it may end up cracking it or damaging it.

A liquid deicer is more effective when applied before a snowfall rather than after it. Using a deicer on an 8 to 10-inch snow pile is ineffective as well. The thaw and refreeze cycle of ice and snow causes expansion and contraction, damaging the surface.

The best way to avoid this –
Use a high-quality ice melt before the storm.
Seal gaps and crevices in the concrete or on any surface with a top-quality sealant to lessen the damage, if not avoid it at all.

Because there are a ton of ice melts in the market, there is also a high chance of you making the wrong choice. It is because a majority of the ice melts in the market are made of one of the five blends- potassium chloride, sodium chloride, urea, calcium chloride, or magnesium chloride.

Tip: There are a few brands such as Safe Paw that are free of any chloride, are 100% salt-free and environment-friendly making them the best snow melt in the market.

Heat-releasing deicers that melt ice work the quickest but can also damage your surface due to rapid expansion and contraction.

For example-
Some exothermic deicers work down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit while others work down to about -20 degrees Fahrenheit. In each case, the type of chloride used and the heat absorbed from the sun will determine its performance.

The price of the deicer also changes according to its performance rating. The ones that melt the ice quickly cost more, while the ones that take some time to melt the ice will cost less.

Using an ice melt according to your area, climate requirement, and environment will go a long way to determine its effectiveness. Newer ‘green’ or environment-friendly ice melts are less harmful to the vegetation, animals, and concrete.

The potential damage caused by tracked-in ice melt or leftover ice melt is more damaging to the surface in general. Many of the ice melts leave a powdery or whitish residue around the area of application. It not only looks unattractive but also poses an environmental hazard.

For example-
Magnesium and Calcium chloride ice melts leave behind an oily deposit that can dull the wax finish of your wooden flooring, if left too long to sit on the surface. In addition, the oily residue might do you more harm than good as you may slip on it as well.

If you forget to remove any of the residues, it will end up damaging your concrete or flooring for a more extended period.

If you do not clean your rugs and carpets after coming inside, it may end up rotting your precious floor overhauls or cause splinters in wood.

Well, we were as surprised as you while creating this section. Many people prefer using kitty litter or sand or sawdust as an alternative to ice melt. While it is not bad, it is not the most sought-after way to deal with slippery surfaces.

Unfortunately, not using a concrete-safe ice melt will pose a more significant health hazard for you than anything else. Your chances of slipping, falling, or skidding increase drastically, making it tough to survive winters. It can be an expensive mistake.

Using kitty litter or sawdust can create a messy home because it leaves a nasty residue on the rugs and carpets eventually.

A few people think using ice melt is damaging to the environment, so it is best to avoid it. It is incorrect to believe that shoveling the snow after a snowfall will suffice. However, they don’t realize a thin layer of ice that forms underneath the snow, making it hazardous.

Using environment-friendly and pet-friendly snow and ice melting products such as Safe Paw can help you beat the winter blues and save you from a lot of trouble.

Conclusion

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.

Get ready for winter with the ONLY Pet Safe Ice Melt you can trust

Other Ice Melt Products

Traction Magic

Use Traction Magic on sidewalks, steps, or as instant traction for your car. 100% Natural & pet safe. Made in the USA.

Traction Magic Road Salt Alternative

Safe Thaw

Imagine an ice melt you can put down and never worry about. It won’t harm animals or children, and it won’t damage your property.

Safe Thaw Ice And Snow Melter