There’s a chill in the air, and with it comes the anticipation of winter: the holidays, winter sports and, of course, ice.
Here in the northeast, we’re frequently plagued with icy roads and sidewalks that can create hazardous conditions if not properly addressed.
That’s why ice melting products are in such high demand – especially materials like magnesium chloride pellets. Why are people so crazy about magnesium chloride? And will you be able to score a bag of this type of deicer in your time of need?
This post will address these questions to help you get prepared for the cold months ahead.
What is Magnesium Chloride ice melt?
Although most people are familiar with traditional rock salt, they aren’t aware of alternatives like magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride is a naturally occurring compound that is typically found in liquid form and combined with other mineral salts like calcium, sodium, and potassium chlorides.
The natural brine is then easily processed into the salt compound of magnesium and chlorine as the other minerals are removed. You will generally find this type of ice melt in pellet form so that it can easily be applied to a range of surfaces.
What are the benefits associated with using Magnesium Chloride ice melt?
There are a number of reasons why home and business owners prefer magnesium chloride above other ice melting products. Some of the advantages to using these materials include:
- Performance Speed – One of the primary reasons why people turn to magnesium chloride ice melt is that it acts quickly to melt ice and prevent future ice formations. The magnesium chloride is able to rapidly dissolve into the frozen water and create a brine that lowers its freezing point and produces liquid – fast! This means that you’ll be able to safely walk and drive upon surfaces much sooner than if you used other ice melting materials.
- Melting Power – Magnesium chloride is highly effective at melting ice even in very cold temperatures. In fact, it will continue to perform optimally down to -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only does this mean that it will do its job even when the temperatures are frigid, but it will also do less damage to concrete surfaces than other deicers. This is because there will be fewer freeze and thaw cycles to be endured. Ultimately, this means that you won’t have to deal with all of the cracking and pockmarking that might occur when using ice melt with a higher freeze point.
- Low Toxicity – Everyone wants to make sure that they are only purchasing ice melting materials that will be safe to use around children and animals. Magnesium chloride pellets have a much lower toxicity level than competing products so that, in the event it’s mistakenly consumed, your pets and little ones will be at a reduced risk for serious illness. In addition, the pellets are also less irritating to skin and paws. This will greatly reduce the chances for chemical burns and other related problems.
- Low Corrosiveness – No one wants to use an ice melt that causes damage to their hardscape. Whereas some rock salts and similar materials can be corrosive and damaging to concrete, granite and other hard surfaces, magnesium chloride is not very corrosive. It will also cause less damage to steel equipment.
- Eco-Friendly – These days, a growing number of individuals are becoming increasingly contentious of their impact on the environment. This means being mindful of the products that we choose to use – including ice melt. The good news is that magnesium chloride is considered to be one of the most eco-friendly deicers on the market. Pound for pound the material contains less chlorides than other comparable products, thus protecting vegetation and groundwater.
- Reduced Residue – One of the biggest gripes that people have about ice melt is that it leaves an unsightly white residue on carpets and other indoor surfaces. Due to the fact that magnesium chloride is so rapidly absorbed by water and turned into a brine solution, there is very little to no residue left behind. This makes cleanup virtually non-existent.
Why is it so difficult to find Magnesium Chloride ice melt?
The last couple of winters have been quite cold and have seen plenty of precipitation. As a result, millions of homeowners, cities, businesses, schools and other organizations have had a constant demand for high quality ice melting products like magnesium chloride. This means that the naturally occurring compound has been somewhat depleted.
In order to remedy this issue, manufacturers have put magnesium chloride on strict allocation. Regions and suppliers will only be able to sell a specific volume of the material. Once they run out, it will be gone for the season. All magnesium chloride will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. In other words, if you snooze, you loose!
Where should I go to buy Magnesium Chloride ice melt in NJ?
Because magnesium chloride pellets are on such strict allocation this winter season, it’s important to know where you can go to obtain the ice melt in your local area. Although your first thought might be to visit a big box retailer like Home Depot or Lowes, you may want to skip these hot spots.
Because so many people will rush out to nationally recognized stores like these, they will be the first to run out of materials and the most likely to overcharge for it. You might also find sources online who claim to be selling magnesium chloride ice melting pellets for very low prices. Be wary of these types of offers.
You have no way of knowing whether what is being sold is actually legitimate or what it is truly comprised of. The smartest and safest option is to find a local retailer like Braen Supply. We keep our prices low, fair and as competitive as possible so that property owners like yourself can effectively melt ice without breaking your budget.
When and how much Magnesium Chloride ice melt should I purchase?
If you believe that it’s still too early to think about buying ice melt – think again! Now is the very best time to get to the store and purchase your magnesium chloride pellets in advance.
Those who wait for the first big winter storm to hit will find that all of their local suppliers have sold out of magnesium chloride by the time they decide that they need it.
Fortunately, magnesium chloride can be stored safely when temperatures above freezing are maintained and the pellets are kept off the floor and away from moisture. This means that you can stock up ahead of time and have plenty on hand when you need it the most.
Take a look at our formula to calculate how much ice melt to buy in order to ensure you meet your demand. There’s no excuse for putting off the purchase of your magnesium chloride pellets until the last minute.
The professionals here at Braen Supply are ready to help you determine if this is the right type of ice melt for your property’s specific needs and to assist you with the process of calculating how much to buy. Give us a call or stop by today!