It is winter time. You are late for work and you rush down your driveway to get into your car. You slip and break your arm. The pain is intense and you will need to go to the hospital. Working is going to be very difficult for you over the next few weeks. You could have avoided all of this with rock salt.
When the winter strikes hard most driveways, sidewalks and roads have dangerous ice lurking that can be a disaster for you and your family. Even a simple slip in your driveway can cause pain and misery. You need to get rid of the ice and one of the most common ways to do this is to use rock salt.
What exactly is Rock Salt?
Rock salt (also known as halite) is sodium chloride turned into a mineral. It is similar to the salt that you use at your table but often there are other agents included to make it more effective for melting ice. Underground salt mines are the source of rock salt. When salt water evaporates it forms rock salt.
There are many places around the world where you can find rock salt. Some of the most common places are the beds of dried up lakes, estuaries, bays that are enclosed and inland marginal seas. There are underground beds in the United States found in Michigan, New York, New Mexico, Ohio and Kansas to name but a few.
How does Rock Salt Melt Ice?
You will know that water freezes when the external temperature reaches 0° Centigrade. You may also know that when you add salt to water it dissolves. What you may not know is that when adding certain substances to water the freezing point of the water will change. Salt will certainly change the freezing point of water.
The freezing point changes due to a change in the chemical nature of the water. Water with salt added becomes a brine solution and this will freeze at a lower temperature than 0° Centigrade. It can actually be around 5 degrees lower before the brine will start to freeze.
When you add rock salt to your driveway and pathways it will combine with any water that is already on the ground as well as moisture in the air. This creates a salt solution which will not freeze at 0° Centigrade and if ice exists then it will melt unless the temperature is really cold.
After melting the ice into a slat solution there will be no freezing unless the temperature drops to minus 6 or 7 degrees at least. This means that your pathways and driveway will be a lot safer to walk on and accidents are a lot less likely to occur.
What is the best way to apply Rock Salt?
Don’t just add rock salt to piles of snow on your driveway. It will take a lot more time to get through to the ice underneath and do an effective job. Instead use a shovel to remove as much of the snow and underlying ice as you can.
Once you have removed the top layers look for icy patches that remain. Add the rock salt to these areas and you will soon see the ice starting to melt away. Obviously it will depend upon the thickness of the ice when it comes to the time it will take to melt. A thin layer usually melts within a few minutes whereas thick ice will take considerably longer.
If you have a lot of thick ice then apply some rock salt and then get busy with your shovel as it starts to melt. You can even use a brush to get rid of the rest of the ice if you prefer. Thin ice will disappear altogether so there is no need for a shovel or a brush here.
Once you have melted all of the ice it is a good idea to apply another layer of rock salt to prevent any further freezing for a while. This is why it is always good to have a lot of rock salt available to tackle the winter.
We have the best rock salt available at very good prices. Find out more here.