What is the Best De-icer?
It can be a bit overwhelming when you walk into a hardware store and see all of the different deicing agents available for purchase. nowadays there are more options to choose from than just your grandfathers rock salt. Shopping for these Deicing products can often seem like a trip back to chemistry class.
Types of Deicers
Rock Salt, or sodium chloride, is the most popular and a classic standby for any icy day. This deicing agent will release the highest levels of chloride when applied, however it can also damage concrete and metal.
If you’re looking for a deicer that doesn’t irritate skin or your prize winning azaleas try Potassium Chloride. However, it will not melt ice when the air temperature falls below 15 F. It is a solid choice to use.
Another, slightly more expensive, deicing agent is calcium chloride. These are easy to spot as they look like little white pellets. Be sure to wear gloves when handling as it can cause irritation to the skin.
The most recent deicing agent to come on the scene is magnesium chloride. This deicer wont irritate your skin. It will also continue to melt the ice on your driveway or sidewalk even as temperatures fall into the negatives. It is the best deicing agent to use.
- Use a combination of deicer and sand to provide better traction.
- Don’t use deicing products on your steps or driveway unless the concrete is more than 6 months old
- Avoid Ammonium Nitrate in your deicer. It is the most destructive of all the deicing agents.
- Be sure to shovel the area before applying.
- Avoid applying deicers near the base of buildings or foundations.
Be sure to always follow the label instructions when using your deicing product and be sure to wear gloves when handling the product.