Ice Melt 101

As winter enters our lives once again, it is important for us to prepare our essential supplies like ice melt.  Being prepared with ice melt on hand and knowing how to maximize the benefits will make these chilly months easier around the outside of our home. 

While there are multiple forms of ice melt, the most commonly used are sodium chloride based or calcium chloride and  Sodium chloride based ice melt which is also referred to as rock salt.  While it is the less expensive option, it also tends to be less effective in colder temperatures.  It is important to note that while it is safe on some surfaces, it can be very damaging to concrete surfaces (pavers or poured) and can also cause damage to lawns and plants in the adjacent area. Calcium chloride based ice melt is much more effective in colder temperatures and much safer on surfaces and around plant life.  While it is a bit more expensive, these benefits often make it the best choice. 

How can you maximize your use of ice melt?  It is a great idea to purchase ice melt before you need it.  Being prepared ahead of time will also allow you to pretreat your surfaces depending on the product used (as this proves to be more effective). To achieve the best results from ice melt, manufacturers recommend application before, during and after a storm. This will also ultimately help to save you money as you will need less ice melt to achieve the same results.   It is recommended that you wear gloves and protective eyewear when spreading your ice melt.   Another pointer is to use drop spreaders with guards to distribute the melt.  This lessens overuse and limits spreading onto surrounding surfaces which will save you money and help prevent potential damage.  When not in use, store your ice melt in an airtight container away from the moisture, air and sunlight.  Remember to reapply the ice melter again as the melted snow and ice may re-freeze based on temperatures. Stop in to Hewlynn Home & Garden today to see how we can help you to prepare for the chilly weather with ice melt options and so much more!

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