Salting and Ice Melting Options

Knowing the right salt for snow and ice makes a huge difference

The simple science behind using salts or other chemicals to melt snow and ice is that when these products mix with water, they change the temperature that water will freeze at.  There are three main considerations when selecting a salt.  How much does it cost, how well does it work, and is it safe?  Here’s a simple guide for choosing the right one.

Rock Salt.  Mostly used for parking lots and roadwaysIt is the most cost effective option but only works well down to about 15 degrees F.  It’s damaging to cement and can harm plants and turf.

Blended Salts (combination of rock salt and magnesium chloride).  This product works faster than rock salt and melts snow and ice down to about 5 degrees.  It also can harm cement and plants.

Calcium Chloride.  This is one of the most effective all around ice melting products.  It is fast acting and resists re-freezing to a temperature of -25 degrees F and perfect for areas for pedestrian usage such as walkways and stairs.  It’s safe for concrete.  It can still harm your lawn if over-applied but is considered to be much safer there as well.  Although more expensive, the benefits are so much greater.  Store in an air tight container since it attracts moisture right out of the air and can make a mess if not stored properly.

If you need snow plowing or de-icing services, call Whitehouse Landscaping at 484-300-4290 to reserve a spot on our route.