The safety of roads, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and walkways are the number one priority for all snowplow contractors and landscape professionals. When the harsh winter conditions impact our commute, these professionals have the skill set to tackle the winter elements head-on. Therefore, knowledge of the best snow and ice removal methods and de-icing material is of high importance. Snowplow contractors and landscape professionals use ice melt or de-icing road salt for the same objective, to melt ice or snow and create traction. Ultimately the choice is up to the contractor. However, there are a few differences that might aid the decision-making process.
What is ice melt?
Ice melt is typically composed of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, or sodium chloride. The ice melt blend is applied on top of ice or snow that has already formed. It contains a colorant for easy visual application and to ensure it is spread evenly. Ice melt works similarly to road salt. Ice melt will lower the freezing point of water. Once applied, the chemical reaction begins. Ice melt breaks up the bond between the ice and concrete, therefore preventing further build-up and allowing easy removal. Ice melt also has the ability to break down formed ice into a slushy substance, making our roads not so pretty but safe.
Consider the following when choosing an ice melt
Not all ice melts work the same. There are a few factors to consider, including weather, climate, form, and effect on the environment. The variety of compounds in the ice melt blend will guide you to what temperature it can withstand and be most beneficial. Ice melt containing calcium chloride or is labeled as exothermic ice melt works best as the effectiveness can withstand the lowest temperatures. Exothermic ice melts produce heat, which results in melting action, therefore creating a brine on contact.
Ice melt is available in both liquid and solid form. Solid form can be applied with your typical salt spreader, while liquid ice melt is applied with a sprayer or tank. Solid ice melt absorbs moisture from the surface and allows the brine like solution to seep down to where ice has made contact with the concrete surface. Liquid ice melt is used as a pre-treatment, therefore applied on top of snow or ice.
The environment is always a concern during winter weather. As sand, salt, and de-icers coat our surfaces, it is natural to think of how it affects the surrounding areas or surfaces below. To ensure you are following the best safety measures, it is best to speak to a landscape professional.
Where to find ice melt?
At FSI Landscape Supple, the staff here are well versed in de-icing methods and materials. Some product suggestions include, Meltco lake effect snow and ice melter, which is excellent for large areas, easy to manage, does not cake, works in the lowest of temperatures, and creates traction. Sifto, Xtreme ice melter is another fantastic option as it is considered an exothermic product. It produces heat and creates brine. You can find ice melt and many other de-icing solutions at FSI Landscape Supply. Contact us today for more information.