Melting Salts and What Works Best for Ice

Oct 10, 2017 | Landscape Supply, Uncategorized

Living in the northern half of the United States generally means dealing with snow throughout the winter. Even in the southern states, snow may fall once or twice a year, or a hard rain may turn into sheets of slick, dangerous ice because of a cold snap. It’s important to be prepared for the snow and ice that may clog your driveway, turn your deck into a skating rink, or pose a danger to those walking along your front path. Find out which types of melting salts are available and how they work.  

Rock Salt Vs. Table Salt 

Salt is the most common way to safely de-ice an outdoor surface, although some people or companies may use sand or a chemical de-icer. The salt is mined underground in large chunks, after which some of it is ground fine for use as table salt. The type of salt used outdoors, on the ground or on paved surfaces, often consists of much coarser, larger crystals than you would use at the table for your food.  

How Salt Works on Ice 

When salt is mixed with water, its freezing point is lowered. Salty water takes much colder temperatures to freeze than regular water does. As you apply salt to ice, it begins a chemical reaction with the frozen water molecules directly under it, lowering their freezing temperature and turning them back to a liquid state. This goes on until the salt has worked its way through the sheet of ice. If you didn’t add much salt, the ice will not be totally melted, and you may need to add more melting salts to achieve the effect you want. 

Easy-To-Use Mag Blend 

Kurtz Bros., sells a variety of salt products to keep your driveway and walkways less slick during the winter. If you run a business, you can also use the salt on your company’s parking lot or work site. Our Mag Blend Snow & Ice Melter acts quickly and carries a greenish tint so you can tell where it has been applied. Since it is coated with magnesium chloride, the salt is effective to a level of -12 degrees Fahrenheit.  In addition, this formula prevents caking and clogging.  

Long-Lasting Rock Salt with Magnesium Chloride 

The Safety Blend from Kurtz Bros. is a mix of liquid magnesium chloride and rock salt. In the bag, you’ll find a combination of mid-grade, fine-grade, and coarse-grade granules. This kind of salt works at temperatures below -5 degrees Fahrenheit, and its specialty is long-lasting, effective ice and snow melting. It keeps working longer than traditional blends of melting salts, continuing to penetrate layers of thick ice and snow long after it has been applied. It has a water-soluble orange tint.  

Fast-Acting Calcium Chloride Pellets 

If you need really fast melting, the Excel Calcium Chloride blend could be just right for you. This bag holds high-powered de-icing pellets that melt snow and ice 2-5 times faster than rock salt and blended ice melters. Plus, this mixture works to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. If you follow the instructions on the bag, it’s safe to use on vegetation as well as concrete. Contact Kurtz Bros., to order plain rock salt or any of our specialty blends for use on icy spots this winter.  

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Expertly Reviewed By:
Matt Malone, Vice President Operations
Matt Malone
Matt is an accomplished business professional with over three decades of experience in the green industry. As a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelors of Business Administration, he has put his extensive education and training to work in his nearly 15 years with Kurtz Bros., where he currently serves as Vice President of Operations.

Learn More About Matt

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