SRAPE ICE? LET IT MELT WITH SALT
ADVANTAGES OF USING SALT
College Lawn & Snow is happy to provide salt and ice management to your home or business. We use rock salt, or sodium chloride to treat all of our customers and consider it the first choice for deicing roadways and driveways. Using salt as a deicer works well, and it is one of the most cost-effective options. Sodium chloride comes in pellets that can be spread effectively with our equipment. Rock salt lowers the freezing point of water and assists to keep streets clear.
DISADVANTAGES OF USING SALT
But salt has its disadvantages as well. Salt works in reducing the freezing point of water, but it also increases the number of freeze/thaw cycles on the treated surfaces. This is the factor that brand-new or lower quality concrete can be damaged. Concrete is permeable, and as water enters the pores, freezes, and expands, the surface of the concrete can flake off, called spalling. The more freeze-thaw cycles a surface goes through, the more potential there is for this to happen.
Salt also causes steel to corrode and shouldn’t be applied in parking garages. Due to the fact that concrete is porous, the chloride permeates into the concrete and causes the structural rebar to rust, expand, and break the concrete apart.
Magnesium chloride is an item frequently found in ice melt mixes that is effective but, Magnesium has been found to change the chemical makeup of concrete and break down the “glue” that holds the aggregates together, allowing it to degrade.
Much of this potential damage can be reduced when homeowners us different types of ice melting products and/or by how they are applied. One example is by pretreating the concrete surfaces with calcium chloride brine. When done correctly, the brine fills the pores in the concrete, keeping the water out, which avoids the freeze/thaw cycles from happening within the concrete, and eliminating the cause of spalling. Calcium chloride is effective because it generates heat in the chemical procedure of melting ice, as compared to merely lowering the freezing point of water as sodium chloride does. This develops a drying impact on the concrete, which also helps to prevent spalling.
Utilizing a professional snow and ice management company like College Lawn & Snow with close to 30 years of experience will lower your risk of damage significantly. Learn more about liquid deicing and other ice control options here on our website.