Selecting The Best Ice Melt Products For Your Home

snow covered yards along a residential sheet

ice melt productsNot All Ice Melt Products Are Right In Every Situation

One of the questions our customers ask us the most is “Which ice melt products should we use”? Some products melt ice better than others, some are safe on concrete and some are not, and which ones will not harm plants. To give you the answer, we took a trip to Home Depot to see which products are readily available.

Ice Melt Products And Your Landscape

Sodium based ice melt products can cause a lot of damage to landscape plants. When a plant takes up sodium from salt, it dehydrates the roots, changes their physiology and causes additional plant stress. Meanwhile, roots absorb the chloride and transport it to the leaves where it accumulates and interferes with chlorophyll production and photosynthesis.

When possible, ice melt products that contain calcium chloride or calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), a salt free melting agent made from limestone and acetic acid. Calcium chloride causes minimal damage to plants and lawns.

Ice Melt Products And Your Hardscapes

Outwardly, concrete appears to be a solid material but it is actually quite porous. Sodium chloride (rock salt) lowers the freezing point of water from 32 degrees down to 25 degrees. It will melt the snow and ice into water between 25 and 32 degrees. This water will soak into the concrete. Salt is also hydroscopic which means it actually attracts more water to it. When the salt/water mixture soaks into the concrete it is actually has around 10% more water than normal. When the temperatures fall below 25 degrees, this water in the concrete expands, causing the damage. Additionally, the more often the freeze/thaw cycle happens, the more likely the damage is to occur.

As with plants calcium chloride is also the preferred ice melt product for concrete. Calcium chloride pellets are a fast acting product that melts ice and snow, and resists re-freezing to a temperature of –25 degrees, way colder than we typically get in Montgomery County. This protection to lower temperatures reduces the frequency and damage potential of the freeze/thaw cycles.

Generally Available Ice Melt Products

Blizzard Wizard

At the very least, this product wins the competition for catchy name. It is available in a 40 pound bag and in a smaller, more manageable shaker container. Blizzard Wizard Ice Melt is a traditional ice melter encapsulated with liquid magnesium and a proprietary formula to provide an environmentally friendly product with very little dilution. Cost is around $8.97 for the 40 pound bag.

Halite Salt Crystals

This product is available in a 50 pound bag and is made up of Sodium Chloride. It may be harmful to plants and corrosive to concrete if used too heavily. Cost is around $6.98 per bag.

ice melt products

Mortons Safe T Pet

This product is made from urea and has no salt of chloride. it is labeled safe for pets, people, plants and surfaces. Cost is around $11.98 for an 8 pound container.

No matter which product you choose, here are a few precautions to follow:

Ice Melt Products Precautions

  • Do not over apply, follow instructions on the label.
  • Do not try to melt everything. Clear snow first.
  • Wear gloves. Ice melts are an irritant.
  • Do not use on new concrete that has not fully cured.
  • All products have some effect on the environment. Flush area with water if over-use is suspected or damage appears on plants.

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Allentuck Landscaping Co. is Your Residential Landscape Company

Phone: 301-515-1900 Email: info@allentucklandscaping.com

At Allentuck Landscaping Company, our mission is to create beautiful environments for people to enjoy. We see landscaping as a way to improve people’s lives.

The Allentuck Landscaping Company team has been a leading landscape company in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 28 years with our turnkey approach to landscape design, installation, construction and maintenance. Most companies try to serve many types of customers at the same time; homeowners, shopping centers, office buildings and the list goes on. At Allentuck Landscaping Co., we focus on one customer, you, the homeowner. We have a singular focus on bringing you the best landscape practices, the best customer service, and the best value for your home.

Services Provide – Master Landscape Plans, Complete Maintenance Programs, Plantings, Patios, Walkways, Retaining Walls, Water Features, Outdoor Lighting, Outdoor Kitchens, Trellises & Pergolas, Irrigation Systems, Drainage Solutions, Grading & Sodding. Fire Pits & Fire Places, Spring Clean Ups, Decks, Fences, Mosquito & Tick Control, Deer Control.

Areas Served – Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, North Potomac, Darnestown, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Damascus, Boyds, Clarksburg, Ijamsville, Urbana, Frederick in Maryland and Washington DC.

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