Selecting the Right Deicer

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Snow Removal Albany NY Tips | 0 comments

There are lots of different options when it comes to using a deicer, or ice melter for ones Albany New York home or office. We understand it can be confusing and intend for this article to explain some of the differences among deicers. For example, are there potential dangers of young children or pets with potentially eating them. And, when it comes which product is the best, it will depend on where it is to be applied.

Even though there are literally hundreds of different brand names and types of deicers available to consumers, the easiest way to group them in deciding which one or ones would be best is by price, performance and chemistry. With this in mind then, the chemistry of them will be the easiest to use in separating them all.

First let us look at exactly where it will be applied. What is that surface made of. Is it wood, concrete, asphalt. . . each will respond differently. Next look at where the melted ice, mixed with the deicer, will runoff into or onto. If it is to run into a water source, this certainly needs to be taken into consideration, that of any environmental impact to that ecosystem with the chemical deicer. Or, does it lead to an area where well water used for drinking can be impacted? Another consideration too is if the deicer will be tracked into a home or office and cause harm to the floors or carpets.

Types of DeicersSodium Chloride Albany NY deicer

A majority of the different types of deicers available are of these types:sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and acetates.

Sodium Chloride
This is commonly called rock salt. It is the most used because since it can be found all over the world, it is the least expensive deicer the buy. It works well on temperatures down to 16 degrees.

Magnesium Chloride
Magnesium chloride is also found pretty much worldwide, but is a little more expensive than sodium chloride. However, it is much safer to use than sodium chloride! It will not get tracked into the home which is good, and its environmental impact is minimal. It is effective down to -13 degrees.

Calcium Chloride
This type is also naturally occurring too, though not as readily found worldwide as they the previous two types are. It is the most expensive of the three discussed so far too. However, it has been widely used in the United States for over 100 years as a top-of-the-line deicer product because it works down to -25 degrees. A downsides are that it is the most toxic of the other chloride products and it can be messy indoors.

Potassium Chloride
This is the most environmentally friendly of the chlorides discussed. Though, that is because it has the lowest amount of chloride in it, usually around 37 percent. It is used a lot in fertilizers because of the large amount of potassium. It is not used too much anymore and mostly because it only works down to about 25 degrees.

Acetates
These are organic chemical compounds that will almost no impact on the environment once they bread down. They are mostly harmless to surfaces since there is no chlorides in them. However, they are very expensive still. There three forms are sodium acetate, calcium magnesium acetate, and potassium acetate. They are used in parking garages and where chlorides are banned, like in airports.

The following video explains how deicers work:

Do not hesitate to let us know of any questions you may have!

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