Sidewalks and driveways that are covered in ice can become dangerous to anyone walking on them. Deicers and anti-icers are help to break up the ice or prevent it sticking to the surface below, making it easier to remove.
Remember that de-icers and anti-icers are chemicals that can damage your driveway and should be used as minimally as possible. They are also not good at melting larger amounts of ice. For huge amounts of ice you will still need to break out the snow shovel.
When you buy salt for your driveway you are buying from the ‘de-icer’ category.
These mineral salts have a lower melting point than water, allowing them to dissolve and work their way down underneath the ice which then allows the ice to be removed easily.
The most common de-icing chemicals are:
- Sodium Chloride (Rock Salt)
- Calcium Chloride
- Potassium Chloride
- Magnesium Chloride
- Sand and Kitty Litter
Ice Removal Tips
The salt you are applying is not meant to melt all the ice, it is intended to simply break the bond between the ice and the surface below making it easier to shovel away. Over-salting will only encourage damage to the surface below.
Apply Salt Early:
The earlier you can apply the salt the better. Applying before an accumulation of snow and ice will give the best results.
Salt will start to lose it’s effectiveness at around -12c. It is still effective at colder temperatures, just not as effective as it would be if it were warmer. You would normally see ice begin melting within half an hour but this time will be longer in lower temperatures.
Be Aware of Risks:
Many ice clearing products can be harmful to your pets and other animals if overused. They can also contribute to the degradation of driveways and pathways. Use salt and other de-cing products sparingly to reduce injury to animals and property.