How To Use Your Ice Melt Effectively?
That big slab of ice on the pavement is troubling you, huh? But how do you get rid of it cleanly once and for all?
Well, listen. I will share with you a few tips I use to ensure I am always on top where ice melting is concerned.
1. Cautious use
You may think that the more ice melt you use, the more effectively it will melt the ice. But manufacturers of ice melt products have disproved this theory. Using ice melt in excessive quantities, they tell us, does not improve the performance of the product.
Plus, applying copious amounts of ice melt to a concrete surface will harm it, causing it to crack or spall. Also, it will adversely affect the environment, damaging vegetation, and washing into water bodies where it will disrupt aquatic life.
And if your pets ingest significant amounts of ice melt, it could prove lethal because these products contain toxic chemical compounds.
2. Follow instructions
It may sound like an obvious point, but you won’t believe the number of people who blindly start using products, believing in their instincts. Unfortunately, such a course may prove dangerous.
For instance, the product labeling of a calcium or magnesium ice melt will warn you to wear gloves when using the product.
Plus, the instructions may specify what quantities of the product to use and the best way to use it.
3. Protect your hands
You should wear gloves when handling these products. Not all are highly toxic, but it’s a good rule, just in case. You see, touching ice melts with your naked skin can result in burns, rashes, or some other skin irritation.
The chemicals are especially dangerous when they have come into contact with water. You should also be careful not inhale them because their dust particles can cause respiratory tract irritation.
4. Check the temperature
Ice melts derive their effectiveness from the freezing point of the chemical compounds they contain. For instance, calcium chloride can melt ice at temperatures as low as -250F. In contrast, potassium chloride cannot melt ice at temperatures below 250F.
Ensure the ice melt product you use has a lower freezing point than the temperatures your area is experiencing. For instance, if your home is experiencing below zero temperatures, you should use calcium chloride or magnesium chloride (-150F).
5. Apply before the weather condition worsens
Don’t wait for the weather to get so bad that the ice becomes rock hard, accumulating on your driveway. Once you realize that temperatures are steadily falling, spread the ice melt on the pavement.
Ice melt manufacturers all agree with this point. They advise applying the product to the pavement itself. You see, the ice melt works best when it’s operating from beneath the ice rather than on it.
6. Seal all the cracks.
You have probably heard that ice melts are bad for concrete surfaces. But that’s not entirely accurate. What happens is that water seeps into the cracks and capillaries of a concrete surface.
And when temperatures fall, the water freezes. The subsequent contraction and expansion leads to the cracking and spalling of the pavement. And ice melts aggravate this phenomenon.
So before applying the product to the pavement, seal the surface using a sealant. It will keep the moisture from seeping into the cracks and pores in the concrete.
7. Clean up after
It’s important to wash away the ice melt from the pavement after it has done the job. If you don’t clean the surface, the ice melt will harm it. For instance, wood floors will splinter.
There you have it. Follow these tips, and you will be a pro at melting ice in no time!