Best De-Icer for your Property
By: Whirlwind Clean & Green Team ~
Many people look forward to the cold winter weather, so they can snuggle up in blankets near the fire watching the snow flurries come down, make a snowman, or have a snowball fight. Unfortunately, ice comes with the cold which can make roads and walkways very slippery. It is very important to melt ice to make your property accessible, to stay away from slip & fall liability, reduce your insurance costs, to stay in compliance with the law, and to keep your tenants happy. Selecting the right vendor and products you will use before the weather arrives will keep you ahead of the possibility of an injury or accident on your site.
When it comes to de-icing your parking lots and walkways there are many different deicers to choose from. The most common are rock salt, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride. Although some others include potassium chloride, urea, calcium magnesium acetate, and blends. Deicers also come in granular and liquid form. Since all of these chemicals are corrosive to your asphalt, concrete, lawn, plants, and the environment the question to ask is which deicer will melt the most ice with the smallest impact to the environment.
There are two main types of ice melting chemicals, exothermic (produces heat) and endothermic (takes heat from surroundings). Exothermic are the most effective down to very cold temperatures and they work very quickly, whereas endothermic compounds are slower and can only be used in warmer temperatures. Calcium chloride is the most widely used non-sodium chloride deicer and has the lowest effective temperature at -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
While calcium chloride is the most effective down to the lowest temperature of -25 degrees Fahrenheit, it is still corrosive and can harm the environment. However, it is the most effective meaning you can use a much smaller amount of it to get the same effect as some of the other deicers. The least harmful to the plants and wildlife is calcium magnesium acetate but is only effective to +20 degrees Fahrenheit and is more harmful to aquatic life if it makes it to local waterways. Chloride deicers on average are more corrosive on concrete and metals than non-chloride deicers, but non-chloride deicers are more expensive and generally less effective.
When it comes to liquid vs solid (granular) there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Solids are more cost effective as you aren't paying for extra water and they are easier to store. However, they need water to be effective, so they take longer to work than liquid. Liquid sticks to road surfaces better and can remain effective for longer than solid but can be washed away easily.
The best way to use deicers is very sparingly, use only what you absolutely have to. Using deicers to start the melting process and then manually removing the ice and left-over salt is the most effective and helps eliminate excess salt getting into the environment. This is however labor intensive and time-consuming.
Whirlwind has been providing winter services for over 30 years! We have the equipment and most importantly the trained personnel to support you and your tenants at the time of need. We can help you find the best deicer to use on your property for the best ice removal with minimal impact on your landscape and environment around you. Contact us today for a free estimate.