Many property owners make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to throw out their ice melt. In reality, it will do its best work if it gets in contact with the rain or snow right before it hits the ground. The reason for this is that ice melt, while capable of melting ice, is made of salt and other materials that lower the freezing point of water.
Thus, when snow hits the salted ground, it never even has the chance to freeze. This will make sure that there’s no waiting game where you let ice get thick and layered, and then throw out the salt last minute, having to wait minutes (or hours) for it to disappear. It’s best to prevent the ice to begin with by staying on top of the weather forecast.
You should lay down a thin layer before the weather gets stormy, and then lay down another thin layer during the storm. Not only will this make it more effective, it will also prevent you from using too much and it will help keep the melt from damaging your concrete and other surfaces.
Many people go to the store and pick up the cheapest ice melt they can find. That’s actually a very ineffective way to make your decision because there are many different types of ice melt out there, and finding the cheapest one isn’t the way to go about it. Oftentimes, the cheapest product won’t work in the coldest of temperatures and it may not match your environment or application. Spend a few minutes walking the winter aisle to figure out which product is going to meet your needs the best. If you need a pet or plant safe ice melt, you’ll probably have to pay a bit more and get CMA.
Ice is no joke, and neither is ice melt. Often filled with chemicals, you don’t want to go out there and use ice melt with your barehands. For instance, Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride are both hygroscopic and will pull moisture from your skin. Always wear gloves, boots, and other protective clothing and be sure you don’t get any of it in your eyes or on your skin period.
Also, always read the packaging to know how much you need to use. Many people put down far too much and, not only are they wasting their money, but they’re also being very inefficient with the process. Overuse can harm vegetation and cause a variety of other issues, so follow the instructions on the package.