Ice Controll Options: How to make the best choices for your property.

With so many salt products on the market today it can sometimes be hard to decide what to choose for your own home use. There is quite an array of different products at different price points available to home owners. They range from $7/bag for plain rock salt up to $18/container for pet friendly ice melter.  There are Roadsaltimage.254100833 stda number of different processes that affect the price; what size the grains are and what has been applied to it are the two driving factors. 

Rock Salt: This product is typically $6 and up per bag and it good for large areas where cost of application is a factor. This product will work down to -10 degrees, anything colder than that it no longer serves its purpose. Rock Salt is a non-residual product, once it melts down it is easily washed away, re application is required regularly for maximum effectiveness.

 

                Pros:       Most inexpensive form of ice control available. Works to -10.

                Cons:      Once temperatures reach below -10 product does not work

                              Re-application is most frequent

                              Can damage a variety of surfaces (concrete asphalt and interlock)

                              Easily tracked in to surrounding buildings

                              Dangerous if ingested by pets or humans.

Residual in the landscape, can cause damage to nearby plant material

and the surrounding soil will become salinated.           

Calcium Chloride Treated Salt: This is the blue bags of salt that you will find at the stores it ranges from $10-18/bag.  The scientific explanation is quite winded but in short calcium chloride is more soluble than salt and when applied it allows the product to work to -40. This form of ice melter is what we use on all of our properties walkways. Calcium Chloride is also residual it helps break the bond between snow and pavement resulting in a cleaner and safer parking and walking areas. It also means less product is required for application, it is better for the environment and a little goes a long way.  It may be a lot pricier per bag but what it will save you on damaged property and reapplication is well worth it.

 Outdoor-Living-Alaskan-Ice-Melters-Walmart-ice-melter-granules

 Pros:   Less product is required per application as well as over time

            Residual product that last longer and more effective

            Works even at lower temperatures (up to -40)

             Covers more area due to smaller grain size

             Does not track large pieces in to buildings

               

                                  Cons:    A more expensive product

                                              In large quantities can damage property

                                              Dangerous if ingested by people or humans

                      Residual in the landscape, can cause damage to nearby plant    

                      material and the surrounding soil will become salinated.           

 

Beat Treated Salt: This is a new product available on the market in the last few years. This product is also quite expensive, $15/bag compared to rock salt but has the same advantages as Calcium Chloride Treated Salt. You might have noticed in the London area that you see salting trucks spraying something on the roads and highways.  This is actually a beet brine pulp that acts as a pre application before the roads get icy.  This is a natural by-product of the beet processing procedure. When this is applied to the roads it prevents the ice from forming and melts down the snow once it comes in contact keeping it in a liquid state. This also works to lower temperatures around the -25 range. Because it is a byproduct it is actually a greener option because this would just be thrown out to local landfills and composting facilities if it was not repurposed.

Many road authorities in North America now use desugared beet molasses as de-icing or anti-icing products in winter control operations. The molasses can be used directlycombined with liquid chlorides and applied to road surfaces, or used to treat the salt spread on roads Molasses can be more advantageous than road salt alone because it reduces corrosion and lowers the freezing point of the salt-brine mix, so the de-icers remain effective at lower temperatures. The addition of the liquid to rock salt has the additional benefits that it reduces the bounce and scatter of the rock salt, keeping it where it is needed, and reduces the activation time of the salt to begin the melting process” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_beet)

 Beet-roots

                Pros:       It is a residual product that uses less and last longer

                               It is safer to pets and humans (still should not be ingested)

                               Less corrosive then other salting methods

                               Works up to -25 or lower

                               Breaks down quicker in the landscape not as bad for the environment

                               Is available in a straight liquid or a solid salt format

                Cons:      This stuff is pretty smelly but worth it

                               More expensive than most salt available

                               Still residual in the soil but less disruptive

 

Pet Safe Salt Solutions: There are many products on the market for safer ice melting for pets and landscapes.  Since it is not salt based it is a very expensive technology. This can be up to $18/container which is usually one third the size of a bag of the other products. It's made from modified crystalline amide core infused with special glycol admixture. What that translates to in simple language is that it melts ice due to its formulation, and it also attracts solar heat to work even better in the daylight hours. It works for up to three days. (http://petsupplies.about.com/od/catseason/fr/Review-Of-Safe-Paw-Ice-Melter.htm). This is a great option when you are concerned about your plants and animals but is not very cost effective for large areas.

               

Pros:       Safe for the landscape and your pets.

                           Residual formula that lasts up to 3 days

                           Utilizes the suns radiant energy to assist in the melting process

                Cons:   It is very expensive and unrealistic to use in large areas.  

 

There are quite a few options out there for ice melting solutions hopefully this can guide you in the best suited product for your specific situation.

Rural Roots Landscaping is certified through an organization called the Smart about Salt Council http://www.smartaboutsalt.com/.  They recognize the need for reduction of salt application in the environment and teaches applicators how to best asses the salt requirements of our properties.  We combine that knowledge with our choice of product to best suit the needs of our customers.  We have specially ordered in from our suppliers beet treated salt for all of the parking lot applications. We use calcium chloride treated salt on all of our walks and all of our applicators are expertly trained to access conditions prior to applying product and to use only when safety is concerned.

We also have 4 different options to our clients for salt boxes at businesses. We offer Straight rock salt, salt sand mix, calcium chloride treated ice melter or beet treated ice melter to cater to our customers specific needs.

If you have any further inquiries in to salt application options for your home or business please feel free to head over to the contact us page and we can provide comprehensive information on how best we can fill your needs.  We are also on Facebook and Twitter please follow us for up to date information on all of our services and recent activities.  Have a happy and safe new year!