Why is There a Magnesium Chloride Ice Melt Pellet Shortage in 2015/2016?

magnesium chloride ice meltYear after year, magnesium chloride ice melt continues to fly off of our shelves as one of our hottest-selling winter items. This natural deicing material is extremely efficient and effective, even in the cold temperatures that are so familiar to us here in the northeast.

But, what if there wasn’t enough magnesium chloride to go around? Or if we ran out before you had the chance to purchase yours?

The chances of this actually happening are greater than you might have expected, and it’s important to be aware of the impending shortage this 2015-2016 season.

By understanding why the shortage is happening and how you can get prepared in advance you will be able to enjoy the safest and most comfortable winter possible.

A Look at Previous Winters

Think about the past several winters that we’ve experienced here in the northeast. If you’ll recall, we experienced very low temperatures with a good amount of precipitation, both of which are a recipe for ice formations on driveways, sidewalks and parking lots.

As counties, cities, ice removal contractors, large campuses, businesses and homeowners all scrambled to clear the ice from their properties, ice melting materials like magnesium chloride flew off of the shelves.

Even though magnesium chloride is naturally occurring, there’s still only so much of the compound that can be mined, processed and manufactured. The greater the demand for the materials, the faster they were depleted, which resulted in a shortage.

A Look Ahead to Winter 2015-2016

Looking into the coming winter season, experts are predicting another relatively harsh winter. We can expect very cold conditions that will generate a fair amount of snow and ice that will need to be removed for safety.

If history has taught us anything, we can predict that magnesium chloride manufacturers will once again struggle to keep up with consumer demands for the excellent ice melt.

Pair this with the depleted stores from previous years and we’re starting a long season with not enough magnesium chloride to get us through average conditions, let alone a long, cold winter.

Strict Magnesium Chloride Ice Melt Allocations

What do manufactures do when there is a magnesium chloride shortage? They have to set strict allocations for how much of the ice melt may be distributed and sold throughout various regions of the country.

This means that whatever volume of magnesium chloride is allocated to your local suppliers for the season is all that they’re going to get, so when they’re out, they’re out. It’s important to bear in mind that this could also have an impact on how much the material will cost you.

The greater the demand and the lesser the supply, the more you can expect to spend. Even so, be sure to price compare. There’s no reason to get ripped off. A fair supplier will remain competitive.

Why Buy Magnesium Chloride Ice Melt?

If magnesium chloride ice melt is experiencing such a shortage, you might find yourself wondering why your should even bother trying to find and shell out the money for it. There are a number of reasons why you should be interested in this particular deicer. Some of the advantages associated with using it include:

  • Fast Acting – When you apply ice melt, you want it to start working quickly so that you can get back to a normal life schedule. Magnesium chloride pellets are dissolved faster than other compounds, forming a brine with the ice and snow on your property’s surfaces. This will instantly begin working its ‘magic’ and returning water to its liquid form, preventing future formations.
  • Effective In Extreme Cold – Due to the fact that our winters can be so cold, it’s important to have an ice melting product that will work at temperatures below zero. Magnesium chloride pellets are able to effectively melt snow and ice down in temperatures as low as -5 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to covering your needs in all conditions, this will also prevent water from re-freezing in cracks in your concrete and creating major problems.
  • Safer for Children and Pets – Many people have concerns about their pets or children accidentally becoming exposed to or consuming ice melting materials. Magnesium chloride pellets have much lower toxicity levels than other products on the market. This means that, if consumed, your loved ones are at a significantly lower risk of becoming ill. At the same time, the pellets do not cause chemical irritation and burning on hands or paws.
  • Low Impact on Concrete and Vegetation – Some rock salt and ice melting materials are known for being corrosive and damaging to concrete. This is not the case with magnesium chloride which is slow-acting on concrete and thus causes minimal problems. On top of this, eco-friendly users can enjoy the fact that the product has very low impact on the environment. It will not contaminate the groundwater supply via runoff. It will also not cause damage or harm to your vegetation, so you won’t have to worry about your landscape becoming destroyed as the result of removing ice from your property.
  • Minimal Residue – No one likes the look of chalky residue that frequently gets left behind by ice melt that has been tracked indoors. Of the many different deicing compounds available on the market, magnesium chloride causes the least amount of residue. This is because the material is so thoroughly dissolved into the ice. The end result is that you won’t have to struggle with cleanup after the ice has melted.

When and How to Buy

If you haven’t already started stocking up on your magnesium chloride ice melt, the time to do so is right now. Because of the shortage and strict allocation regulations, there’s a good chance that your local suppliers will quickly run out of their inventory and those who were late to the party will have to settle for less effective ice melting products.

It’s best to get ahead of the game, rather than waiting for the weather channel to forecast a big storm in your area, and start buying materials. Stocking up, of course, means having a good idea about how much magnesium chloride your property will need to survive the winter.

If the idea of calculating your demands seems confusing or overwhelming, don’t worry. We have put together a simple formula that will help you to determine how much deicer to pick up at the beginning of the season.

Once purchased, you will need to store the product properly. Magnesium chloride ice melt stays best when stored at temperatures above freezing. It should be kept in a sealed container and off of the ground, away from exposure to moisture.

Where to Find Magnesium Chloride Ice Melt in NJ

As the leading supplier of ice melting products in NJ, Braen Supply carries the largest inventory of fairly and competitively priced magnesium chloride pellets. Our team of experts is happy to speak with you about your individual needs and to plan for the winter ahead.

We sell magnesium chloride ice melt by the bag or by the pallet. Don’t hesitate to call or stop by for more information or to ask any questions that you may have about this popular deicer.

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