As you begin preparing for the colder weather ahead, you may find yourself stumped when faced with the many different types of rock salt for driveways that are available.
Is one product better suited to your needs than another? What’s the difference between the different types and brands, anyway? The truth is that the rock salt that you utilize can make a big difference in terms of effectiveness, safety and environmental friendliness.
By brushing up on the various products available, you can determine the best rock salt for driveways in your area.
Traditional Rock Salt
The products that many homeowners pick up from the local store are not necessarily filled with the best rock salt for driveways in New Jersey. Although it’s true that rock salt can work to lower the freezing temperature of water, breaking down or preventing ice from accumulating, it is only capable of doing so in temperatures down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the temperature can frequently dip below this point in New Jersey, you may find that traditional rock salt causes a freeze-and-thaw cycle on your driveway. Not only can this create slippery conditions, but it can also put strain on your driveway, leading to cracks and other problems.
Eco-Friendly Rock Salt
In this environmentally contentious era, most of us have concerns about the impact that our actions have on the world around us. Because some rock salt for driveways can cause harm to soil, vegetation and animals, it’s important to find a solution that is more eco-friendly. Environmelt is considered to be a “green” de-icer, as it causes less harm to building materials, many animals and plant-life. This is because it utilizes calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) which is a safer alternative to other materials and chemicals. It’s also a soil supporting compound, and is still able to be competitive with other ice melts.
Fast-Acting Rock Salt
The fastest-acting rock salt for driveways will be a product that contains calcium chloride or magnesium chloride. Calcium Chloride is especially effective because it actually produces heat as it is dissolved into the ice, providing quicker results. In addition to this, these types of de-icers are capable of successfully melting ice in temperatures as low as -25 degrees, which means that freeze-thaw cycles are far less likely, and that your driveway will be more protected.
Pet-Friendly Rock Salt
Unfortunately, rock salt and other ice melting products can actually be quite harmful to pets. Not only can these products make animals very sick when they are ingested, but they can also cause irritation to their paws, drying them out. The best rock salt for driveways that pets will be exposed to will be specifically designed to be safe for your four-legged friends. Regardless, it’s a good idea to exercise caution with pets throughout the winter months. Safer Than Salt makes a pet-friendly rock salt that is the preferred ice melt for anyone with pets.
Driveway-Safe Rock Salt
Many homeowners worry about the negative effect that rock salt may have on their driveways. Generally speaking, though, rock salt in and of itself will not harm surfaces. The real problem occurs when the temperatures drop below the point at which the de-icing compound is able to effectively work to melt ice. As mentioned previously, it is the continuous cycle of freezing and thawing that puts strain on the driveway and can cause problems. By picking a product with a reasonable freezing point, you can avoid this.
The best rock salt for driveways will vary depending on a homeowner’s specific needs. By considering the information provided in this post, you’ll have the ability to narrow down your options and get the most value from your de-icer this winter.
Photo is Courtesy of Landscaping Network.