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Vancouver: Being A Chemical Engineer, Here’s What I Think Of Ice Melt

Safe Paw Ice Melt For Driveway

As per Farmer’s Almanac, winter will be colder than average in Vancouver. The snowiest periods will be in mid-to-late November, early to mid-December, and mid-to-late February. We Vancouverites never let the snow stop us from spending time outside. And sunny days in winter in Vancouver are glorious. But it does not mean we are free from winter woes, and one of them is keeping our driveway free from snow and sleet.

If you are the owner of a new concrete driveway, your worries get ten times more. As a chemical engineer, I know how sensitive new concrete can be. Using chemical-based deicers can harm your new concrete.

This winter, I paid special care while choosing my driveway ice melt as I was in no mood to repeat my neighbor’s mistake.

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Neighbour’s Mistake

A year ago, my next-door friend also got a new concrete driveway, and he purchased an ice melt with a ‘safe for concrete’ label. He was able to get rid of ice from the driveway, making it safe to walk and drive on, but at the expense of the concrete’s durability. When spring came, he was hysterical after looking at the condition of his new concrete. It was peeled, flaked with popouts, and discolored.

Finding The Culprit

He could not understand what he did wrong. As a chemical expert, I immediately understood who the culprit. I informed him that it is none other than his so-called ‘safe for concrete’ ice melt that has caused this irreversible damage.

The harmful chemicals in ice melt can attack concrete and destroy or disintegrate it over time. There are several chemicals, which are present in ice melt formulas that attack concrete and should be avoided at all cost. If you are looking for the best ice melt for new concrete avoid these chemicals: Aluminum Chloride, Ammonium Nitrate, Ammonium Sulfate, Ammonium Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Magnesium Chloride, and Sodium Cyanide.

The continuous freezing and thawing of water cause the tiny cracks of concrete to become larger over time and permanently damages the structure. 

Another way of reducing the damage caused by the freeze/thaw cycle is to use an ice melter that will keep melted ice in a liquid state for a longer period. For example, ice melt containing calcium chloride tends to re-freeze quickly, thus increasing the damage.

Weather Forcast

Learning Forever

Hence, when I was in the supermarket looking for the best ice melt for new concrete, I decided to opt for an ice melt that is chlorine-free, effective, and safe. Luckily, I got an ice melt free from hazardous chemicals and has not caused any damage to my new concrete. It also provides traction, thus avoiding slip and fall incidents. But the best part is that it is safe for animals, humans, and plants and forms a protective shield for my driveway for up to three days.

The choice that you will ultimately make depends on your preferences. But in any case, opt for an ice melt that creates a safe walking surface and is safe for your new and old concrete. Along with all these qualities, if it is child-safe, pet-safe, and environmentally friendly, then no doubt it is the best ice melt solution for you.

Other Products

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