Ice Control: Your Guide on Where to Use Ice Melt Products (2024)
When it comes to ice melt, we’ve covered how it works, but we think it’s important to cover where you should (and shouldn’t) put it—because different products are meant for different surfaces. We’ll go over some of our most popular products and where they can be applied.
MAG Ice Melting Pellets
A magnesium chloride-based ice melt product like MAG Ice Melting Pellets contains fewer chlorides than other ice melt products, making the risk of damage to turfgrass and ornamentals minimal. MAG magnesium chloride pellets are 100% natural and three times less toxic than table salt, making it a safer option to use around vegetation and on concrete/metal surfaces than more corrosive products. Plus, the product is not harmful to children and pets.
MAG can melt ice up to -13˚F and can be applied to asphalt and concrete roads and walkways, without the need to worry about turf and ornamental damage due to runoff or pile-up. See our blog post on how MAG works to learn more.
A sodium chloride ice melt like Morton Safe-T-Salt is a cost-effective choice and one of the most common rock salts available. From major contractors to individual homeowners, it’s widely used and is safe for use on driveways, parking lots, streets, and some walkways. Morton advises customers to not use Safe-T-Salt on brick or flagstone walkways with mortar joints, as it could cause damage.
Safe-T-Salt is not as fast-acting as other products, but does its job well. It does leave residual, however. With the possibility of runoff and/or pile-up, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures to protect sensitive areas from salt damage.
A calcium chloride-based product like Peladow Calcium Chloride Pellets is quick and effective, attracting moisture and generating heat, a combination that gets surfaces clear fast at bitter temperatures; -25˚F to be exact. Peladow acts very quickly and at lower temperatures than many other products, which is something to keep in mind if you’re located in a region known for extreme winter temperatures.
Occidental Chemical Corporation’s Peladow pellets are safe for use on steps, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and roads. As we mentioned above, be sure to protect any sensitive areas before applying an ice melt product.
Advanced Ice Solutions’ 5 Below Ice Melt is an effective, economical ice melt solution. Its sodium chloride base combined with calcium chloride flakes and a magnesium chloride coating all work together to melt ice and snow quickly, down to -5˚F.
5 Below is safe for use on asphalt and concrete, but do not use 5 Below on concrete less than one year old. Avoid using the product on precast concrete steps, precast masonry steps and walkways, brick, or exposed aggregate as the product could damage those surfaces.
As the name implies, 20 Below Ice Melt +CMA does just what 5 Below does, but at temperatures reaching -20˚F. In addition to everything 5 Below contains, 20 Below adds calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), which helps melt ice and snow at very low temperatures, and potassium chloride to the mix.
20 Below is safe to use on most common surfaces, but follow the same application precautions as 5 Below (don’t apply to new concrete, etc.) for best results.
Words of Wisdom
While ice melt products themselves don’t harm concrete, both natural and deicer-enhanced freeze and thaw cycles can damage newly poured concrete and can also damage low-quality concrete. Be sure to consult the manufacturer’s SDS and brochure for application instructions and for surfaces the product should not be applied to.
Be aware of the potential effects of ice melt products on turfgrass and ornamentals. Residual can cause damage to turf if preventative measures aren’t taken. It’s important to note that damage is more likely to happen when products are over-applied, so be sure to follow application rates closely.
The product you choose is going to depend on the layout and terrain of your property, your geographic location, typical temperatures, and other factors. Talking to your ATS rep for advice and suggestions is a great way to walk away with the right product for your specific needs. Connect with yours today and get out ahead of the snow and ice.