Blog Post

Ice Melt Supplies And Materials

  • By Phil Grande
  • 04 Dec, 2013

We are fully stocked with all kinds of options for your winter work.

Soundview has switched gears into winter mode as we approach December and the thermometer dips. We are fully stocked with all kinds of options for your winter work.

One of the most common questions we respond to during the winter is: “which product or combination of products should I use?”. The answer depends upon a few different variables which we’ll discuss here.

What are your goals? Do you expect an ice control product to prevent ice or snow build up, or are you trying to melt ice which has already formed? In many cases, we’ve seen a shift over the past few years to pre-treatment. Frequently, near the shore, ground temperatures and air temperatures often combine to provide for a frozen slush mess. With temperatures in the upper twenties, even a basic application of straight rock salt before an event will provide for a decent level of control, especially on asphalt surfaces like driveways or parking areas. Pre-treatment helps stop the snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, making cleanup easier and more thorough. Are colder temperatures expected? If so, use a treated salt product like the Blizzard Wizard or Rock Salt treated with Ice Ban (Bulk Product). Do you have hills or slopes to be concerned with? This is when you might want to consider some sand for traction assistance.

Application Tip – Who gets to decide when and if applications are made to a property? Who owns that liability? Work out the answers to these questions before the winter and you’ll have fewer surprises or anxious nights.

What are your environmental conditions? What are you or your customer asking for? Sometimes, basic Rock salt just won’t do the job. Some of the treated products or higher end salts like Magnesium or Calcium Chloride are specified for longer control with less environmental impact. These higher end products often provide control for a wider range of lower temperatures. This is important because of re-freezing conditions. Once the ice is melted, usually during the day, the runoff will find every little crack and crevice in your sidewalk or pavement. Once the night time temperatures dip down, the water will turn back into ice unless the better products are in place to prevent the re-freeze. In concrete, when the icy water flows into cracks and pores then re-freezes and expands the concrete cracks and deteriorates. This is called spalling. You and your customer may need to pay a little more for some better control, but the long term unseen benefits will be immeasurable.

Application Tip – Bagged Calcium and Magnesium are pelletized products which flow easily through push spreaders for sidewalk applications.

Consider the site. What are your application methods? Are you spreading a small amount of product on some walkways and sensitive areas or are you trying to cover 2 acres of parking lot surface in the most efficient way possible. The answers to these questions will help determine which product(s) you’ll need to stock up on. Straight Bulk Rock Salt has become the most popular choice, surpassing Sand and Salt mixtures as the choice for truck mounted spreaders. Treated Rock Salt is an improved alternative which provides longer coverage to a lower re-freeze temperature. Sand and Salt mix is still the choice for budget conscience customers or folk who want to be sure the customer can see the application as it is tracked around their site.

Application Tip – Remember to close your hopper or spreader opening when applying premium products. In most cases less product is required over the same are in order to do a better job!

Ice Melt guide and summary:

Sand Salt mixture is a budget conscience choice.  It is effective for temperatures in the high 20s up to freezing, provides some level of traction control, leaves a messy residue which is visible to customers.

Straight Rock Salt
 is a good economical choice.  It is effective for temperatures in the lower 20s and is a popular option for commercial contractors.  Useful as pre-treatment for asphalt, no Spring Cleanup or sand accumulation, available in bulk by the yard, or truck load.  Also available in 50# bags or by the Pallet.
Rock Salt
Blizzard Wizard (Rock Salt treated with Ice-B-Gone) is more costly, but quite effective to 20 degrees below zero!  Makes a great pre-treatment and doesn’t usually freeze up in storage or in the hopper. Prevents ice and snow bonding to pavement and works well even in coldest temperature or high traffic. No Spring Cleanup or sand accumulation. Available in bulk by the yard or truck load. Also available in 50# bags or by the pallet.
Blizzard Wizard
Magnesium Chloride Pellets are costly yet effective.  They act quickly at a cold temperature – down to 5 degrees below zero – and are a safer alternative with less damage to environment. Available in 50# bags or by the pallet.
Magnesium Chloride
Calcium Chloride Pellets are the most expensive and the most effective product.  Works to 25 degrees below zero and works well to prevent re-freeze. Available in 50# bags or by the pallet.
Calcium Chloride Pellets
We also offer a wide selection of insulated gloves, snow shovels, and spreaders for your snow removal needs:
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