Clintar Blog

Choosing the right De-icer

Andrew Kousik | December 23, 2015 | General

As temperatures drop, the risk of a nasty slip and fall becomes more common on our streets, sidewalks and even our driveways as we step out of our cars after a long day of work!

A simple solution to preventing these painful spills could be making sure you are using the right de-icer for the temperatures that are occurring!

Sodium chloride or simple rock salt is a cheap AND effective de-icer best known for its ability to dry out icy surfaces. Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) works differently from rock salt in that it does not form a brine. CMA helps prevent snow particles from sticking to concrete and also helps prevent ice from refreezing, but often leads to slush.

When temperatures dip below -5°C, rock salt and CMA are no longer effective, but potassium chloride will still melt ice down to -15°C. Unfortunately, potassium chloride is also the most expensive of non-liquid de-icers, so this ice melt is best used when mixed 50/50 with sodium chloride.

Below -15°C you will have to turn to calcium chloride to keep your pavement free of ice. Calcium chloride can melt ice at temperatures down to -40° C. While this chloride is known to be safe on sidewalks and driveways, it can become corrosive if applied to metals.

Whichever de-icer you choose, remember not to over-salt! Some of the best ice melts have colour added to them which can help you see how much you have actually applied. Salt can become expensive so remember; a little goes a long way!