Salt or Ice Melter, Which is Better?

As winter approaches and colder temperatures near, salt and ice melter are key ingredients to a safe sidewalk, or pathway. With so many different types, how do you know which is the best product for yourself?

Regular road salt lowers the freezing temperature of water, so that it doesn’t turn into ice. This means that the salt water drains through the concrete (concrete is porous), or turns to slush, making it easier for you to shovel away. While it does help melt ice, it can also lead to the degradation of concrete if  the temperature drops below -10°C. The salt water in the pores of the concrete can freeze, leading to the flaking, spalling, pitting, and cracking of concrete.

Ice melter, is usually composed of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, or a mixture of salts. While it still contains a salt, ice melter lowers the freezing temperature of water much more than regular road salt. This means that ice melter is typically effective and safer for concrete at temperatures as low as -31°C.

Hopefully this information will help you make a more informed decision on which product to use. Remember to apply salt or ice melter before freezing temperatures hit to help reduce the inital formation of ice.

Feel free to call or visit us in-store know if you have any other questions.