People who live in regions that experience heavy snows are very familiar with the concept of salt on the road. If you ever wondered why the highway department, or the local council or even an individual, is spreading salt, then you should know that salt can melt ice. Of course, it’s the not the regular kitchen salt that mom uses for cooking, but de-icing salt, which is a saline solution. The reason for which they use salt is because it has the ability to lower the freezing point of water, which practically translates in melting the ice. The melting process is almost instantaneous, as the ice begins to melt immediately around the grains of salt. To that extent, these products are largely used for winter roads, not just but state institutions, but also by individuals, homeowners who want to melt the ice on their driveways or pathways. However, they usually use liquid ice melt products, because these are easier to handle, but the concept is the same. |
There are many people who disagree with the use of de-icing salt for roads, claiming that the products corrode cars and cause environmental damage to roadside streams or the concrete structures. But the truth is that not all products do that. As there are liquid ice melt products that are safe for home use, that is for pets and children, there are also road salt products that are completely safe for cars, concrete bridges or water resources. Natural marine salt, for instance, is a much cleaner alternative to rock salt, which comes from mines. So it all comes down to choosing the right product and, for better for worse, there are plenty of alternatives out there. A thorough and attentive market research is recommended for both residential users and commercial ones, as most of road salt or de-icing products providers cater to both types of customers. People should carefully read detailed descriptions of the products they plan to buy, including the full list of ingredients, in order to make sure they are not further damaging the roads or the environment, nor are they hurting themselves or their families.
Of course, homeowners have several different alternatives to de-icing salt, such as sand or ashes, but these don’t really melt the ice, but rather provide traction. In addition, both sand and ashes can be easily tracked into homes, not to mention that the first accumulates in the street or streams. As a result, it’s still best to use liquid ice melt products based on de icing salt, provided that you acquire high quality, environmentally friendly salt, such as the natural marine type mentioned above. This is, without a doubt, the most reasonable solution for roads, driveways and pathways during cold winters with heavy snows, taking into account all aspects, from effectiveness and budget to safety and process. It’s also important to application rates to a minimum, as, just like the old saying goes, a little salt goes a long way.
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