Michigan winters mean ice, snow, and slippery conditions. Fortunately, your local Godwin store has a variety of ice melt products that can help give you the wintertime traction you need to safely and securely navigate your property.
But not all ice melt solutions work the same way. Understanding your options and the pros and cons of each can help you make the right choice.
Option 1. Sodium Chloride Rock Salt
Rock salt is a natural mineral form of table salt (not that you want to try eating it). It’s the most common deicer used in the US and also the cheapest, and works by turning regular ice and snow water into salt water, which has a lower freezing point.
While cheap and effective, salt has drawbacks. It only works at temperatures above 17 degrees Fahrenheit or so, it tracks inside on your shoes and can stain floor mats inside your home or vehicle, and it can corrode concrete sidewalks or poison vegetation and pets.
Option 2. Blended Ice Melt
If rock salt isn’t the right option for you, you’ll probably be interested in blended ice melt.
There are a wide variety of brands and options to choose, each with different characteristics. But in general, ice melt is safer or completely safe for pets and vegetation, is less corrosive to concrete or fully concrete-safe, and is only moderately more expensive than rock salt.
The product works by using potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, or calcium chloride (often with some filler sodium chloride or other products to keep costs down) to once again convert the ice into a saltwater solution with a lower freezing point, melting the ice.
Certain ice melt products are formulated for extremely fast melting action, improved safety, or a much wider temperature range than common rock salt, down to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. So even if you use rock salt most of the time, ice melt products can be a great backup option for the next sub-zero polar vortex deep freeze.
There are obviously lots of factors to consider when choosing the right type of ice melt, so don’t worry if you have questions! Our local Godwin team members would be more than happy to help point you in the right direction. Call us today for a free consultation.