Deicers: What You Need to Know
When it comes to the deicing and snowmelt work that you do, you want a product that works. Your clients are relying on you to effectively clear their spaces and prevent snow and ice build-up and there is no room for error.
However, choosing the right deicer can feel like a complicated process given all of the variables. You not only need to consider which product will work best in terms of melting ice and snow (and at specific temperatures) but you want to think about what products will be safest to use. Many products can be corrosive to hardscaping or harmful to the surrounding landscaping.
Of course, you’ll also want to weigh which products give you the best value for your investment. After all, when you are buying these products in bulk, the cost can really start to add up.
We recognize that a lot of people have questions about deicers and there’s quite a bit of misinformation out there. That’s why we want to help guide you toward the best solutions for you.
What Deicers are Safe for Concrete?
This is probably one of the most common questions that we get—and there are a lot of myths out there around it. We see lots of claims about different products being safe for concrete when in reality that might not be totally true.
Though some suppliers might give you run around, we’ll tell it to you straight. There is no deicer that contains chloride that is 100-percent safe on concrete. That’s the bottom line. Though these products work really well in terms of melting snow and ice, there is always some risk of corrosion associated with them.
That being said, there are certainly some that are safer than others.
The four main materials that are used as chemical deicers include calcium chloride, sodium chloride (rock salt), potassium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate. Potassium chloride is probably going to be the most destructive of these options. There are also variations of these chemicals used in specialized products, which we’ll talk about next.
What Deicer Should I Choose?
At Nature’s Mulch, many of our clients like Magic Salt, comprised largely of sodium chloride but coated with a liquid material that allows it to start working at a lower temperature. It has good staying power and won’t dilute. It’s also highly effective.
In our opinion, this is one of the safest options for concrete, largely because of the fact that it works without putting too much of it down.
Magic Salt is also economically friendly because it works faster and lasts longer. According to the manufacturer, it is pet-friendly for sensitive pet paws, as well.
We also have a product called Natural Melt, which is a plant-based eco-friendly liquid option. Because this product is completely chloride-free, it is non-corrosive and therefore safe to use on concrete.
However, in terms of cost-effectiveness, this is going to be your most expensive option and is therefore not ideal for large-scale projects.
For that reason, many of our clients choose Natural Melt for smaller areas such as a residential paver patio or even a walkway that has a metal in-laid insignia (such as at a university or a corporation).
Making Your Best Choice
In the end, you’ll need to consider all of the variables and ultimately make the choice that is best for you and your clients. We can help guide you in that decision. It can admittedly be overwhelming, but by talking through your needs with us, we can help guide you. Together, we can find the products that will help support your business best.