When snow and ice start to accumulate, businesses must clear walkways, sidewalks and parking lots using a deicer. One of the most commonly used deicers is sodium chloride thanks to its low cost and efficiency. Yet, before you order traditional rock salt for winter ice control, consider the pros and cons to calcium chloride as well. You may find that calcium chloride is a better choice for your needs.
What’s the Difference between Salt and Calcium?
Sodium Chloride: Traditional rock salt is the most widely used ice melter for commercial locations. It’s safe to use on concrete, but it can be harmful to vegetation. It’s inexpensive and does an effective job at melting ice, but it does have limited efficacy in extreme cold temperatures.
Calcium Chloride: Produced from natural brine deposits, this deicer is processed into a colorless and odorless liquid or solid. It’s very effective and can be cost-efficient when mixed with salt and other abrasives. In fact, it can melt ice twice as fast as other common deicers.
Is there a Better Choice?
Many professionals agree that calcium chloride is the better choice when it comes to deicing. It’s highly effective and decreases the number of applications needed to melt the ice, which in turn saves on manpower, equipment and material. It begins to work immediately, and it melts ice at much lower temperatures than salt. Also, calcium chloride is safer for vegetation since it doesn’t have the same corrosive properties as rock salt.
The one benefit that rock salt has is that it’s cheaper than calcium chloride. When you’re working on a tight budget or trying to deice an entire parking lot, it makes sense to go with a solution that is both cost-effective and efficient. However, with calcium chloride, it is often combined with cheaper alternatives such as rock salt to make it more affordable. This way, you get the same efficient performance while sticking to a budget.
Calcium chloride works at temperatures below most other deicers.
When mixed with rock salt, calcium chloride is cheaper.
Calcium chloride extracts moisture from its surroundings.
Fewer applications are needed with calcium chloride.
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