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Which products to deice with in Dubuque

by | Dec 17, 2020 | Snow Removal | 0 comments

Which Products should I use for Deicing in Winter

Understanding Ice Melt Products is often complexing and too scientific for the average person. College Lawn & Snow is here for you so you may choose the right deicing product for your particular situation.

Suggestions for Deicing & Different Types of Deicers

When selecting a sidewalk or where your car’s parked deicing products are numerous, there are two primary considerations before choosing which product is best for you: the weather and your surface. The weather because temperature is very important factor because some products don’t work well in freezing temperatures. Lastly, the type of surface you are using the deicer on. Not all surfaces have a similar effect and might just have a larger negative impact than if you waited out the storm in your warmer home.

Magnesium Chloride

When temperature levels are freezing, you might want to pick an exothermic product that chemically produces heat and releases it to ice and snow. Magnesium chloride is an exothermic de-icer that is highly rated by experts. As it releases heat, the product will gradually melt ice. While it might be more pricey than other choices, it is very effective. If you want a product that is more environmentally friendly to plant life and paved surface areas, then magnesium chloride is the right choice. Magnesium does have its drawbacks for it will also decay the components that hold your concrete together.

Calcium Chloride

Rock salt is Calcium Chloride, it is mined out of the ground and comes mixed with dark-colored, rough ground particles. Its size is very inconsistent, but pricing is low. Rock salt is only effective to 15 degrees – any colder than that, it no longer is effective at melting.
When temperature levels are above 15 °F, endothermic deicers work much better as these chemicals attract heat from the air to dissolve frozen water. Rock salt (sodium chloride) is endothermic and is a typically utilized ice melt product. But keep in mind that this product is reasonably destructive to metals and leaves a whitish, grainy residue.

Rock Salt

Sodium Chloride. Sodium chloride is the most common deicer used in adverse winter condition across the U.S.. According to USA Today it reported that the US Geological Survey Data, 24 million tons of salt are used every year to clear icy roads and driveways, and that was a modest estimate.

Sodium chloride(rock salt) is a granular product. It is used to make brine (liquid sodium chloride) and there are many additives that can be mixed into brine to enhance its performance. The lowest practical melting temperature for dry rock salt is 15 degree pavement temperature but to be safe you should just say 20 degrees to trick yourself into being safe.


Even a little safer products, such as calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride or calcium magnesium acetate can still be harmful to plants, while other deicing products such as urea will diminish oxygen from waterways and are a severe risk to marine life.

County and city usage of rock salt on streets is widespread, often used as a brine to roads prior to snow storms will turn snowfall into slush. Rock salt applied after a snowfall won’t help already existing snow from refreezing onto highways. The occurring salty slush on the roads then gets sprayed by passing automobiles onto plants and lawns, often leading to damage to the affected locations.

Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride will melt at a fast pace, and will leave a clear brine solution upon melting. Also, consider these two options since they will create a minimum amount of residue. 

Potassium chloride is another alternative for deicing paved surface areas. These products have a moderate threat of adverse effects on the environment and paved surfaces. These products can be utilized to melt snow and ice when temperatures are as low as 12° F. Potassium chloride leaves a small, white residue that can be hosed away. It will not damage vegetation or chemically attack concrete.

For the asphalt parking lots, calcium chloride crystals, flakes or pellets, or even magnesium chloride pellets are safe alternatives to use throughout the cold weather.