With freezing temperatures, inevitably your sidewalks, porch and outdoor steps are bound to be slippery and icy. However, a simple and inexpensive solution for ensuring your outdoor walkways are safe comes in an easy-to-carry bag. Ice melt is an obvious choice for preventing slips and falls during this rough winter season. Read on to learn more about its advantages and how to best use it.
Our list of essentials will help every homeowner survive the season with success:
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of using ice melt.
Ouch! Winter weather hazards such as icy, snowy steps, sidewalks and driveways can make it almost impossible to walk around outside without slips and falls. That’s where ice melt can help. Deicers attract offending moisture, forming a briny substance that melts faster than the surrounding ice and snow, thereby clearing potentially dangerous walking conditions with ease.
Traditional ice melts are made from rock salt, and start to melt ice at about 5°F. Many of the new-fangled ice melts actually blend rock salt with other chemicals, lowering melt temps to the max, and work even better than traditional rock salt in extreme conditions.
Tips for Using Ice Melt
1. Choose Effectively: Save time and money while reducing environmental impact by choosing the right ice melt for the job. Ice melts are made from a blend of materials such as calcium chloride, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride and urea. Each works best in different temperatures. When temps drop below 5°F, ice melts that contain calcium chloride are best for clearing thick ice and snow quickly. In winter conditions above 5°F, choose a melt that contains an ingredient like urea or potassium, which get the job done effectively. Not to mention, they are safer for people, plants and pets. If you’re worried about the effects ice melt could have on your pets, choose one that is free of chlorides.
2. Apply Early: Before snow and ice accumulates, prevent them from bonding with the pavement, by making it easier to remove. Use ice melt for a major weather event, but also for light snowfalls, which can cause slippery conditions especially if the moisture re-freezes later in the day.
3. Use Wisely: Use ice melts only on properly formulated, cured, air-entrained concrete that is at least one year old. Brick and other materials are porous and should not be treated with ice melt. Less is usually more when it comes to applying ice melt, because using too much can burn the grass under the snow, or get tracked into the house, potentially damaging rugs and floors. Follow manufacturer recommendations on quantities and application.
Once you know which ice melt to buy and how to use it, you’ll be all set for whatever this chilly winter has in store. For more information about the various types available, pricing, or any other questions, as always feel free to contact us or write a comment in the section below. Stay safe out there!
About the Author
Tempe Thompson is a sales and inventory expert at Runyon Equipment Rental. She has over 35 years of experience and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise. She could talk for hours about how to use all of Runyon’s tools and equipment, in addition to suggesting which type corresponds to a certain application.