Winter Is Coming
(Break Out the Salt)
Salt is not a spice or an herb… in fact it’s a mineral that is so versatile that it can be used to flavor food, keep away ghosts, and melt ice. So how do you choose the right salt for the right job? With winter fast approaching it’s good to know the best salt to use for melting ice and snow. Most ice melts are blends of salts (sodium chloride, calcium chloride or magnesium chloride). Below is a breakdown the best types of ice melt, followed by the top 5 brands to help keep your stress level down and your driveway clear!
Pets and Children: Don’t immediately trust “pet- and child-friendly” ice melts. Salt can irritate and burn animals’ paws. Salt melt’s main ingredient is either sodium chloride or calcium chloride. Both sodium chloride and calcium chloride can be harmful. A dog that licks the salt off its feet could become sick (in multiple ways). Curious children are also in danger of becoming sick from salt. To be safe, use a water-filled pan to rinse your dog’s feet or have your children wash their hands when they come back inside.
Reduce Slipping: Slipping and falling is the leading cause of injury for people over age 25. The most common reason for hospitalization is either a hip fracture or a head injury. In fact, most traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls. Choose the right salt mixture to reduce the risk of your family and neighbors from slipping and falling on your property. The most popular combination is to mix sand with your ice melt.
Ice Melt for Concrete: Good ice melt choices for concrete are calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. Other salts will destroy the concrete. Because concrete has many small air bubbles, water can seep into the concrete through those holes, regardless of the size. If water can freeze in the concrete, it will expand when frozen and create very large cracks, gaps, and even potholes.
Here are a few of the most popular brands of ice melt. These aren’t your mama’s Morton:
Safe Paw Ice Melter is guaranteed safe for pets. Concentrated pellets cover twice the area of rock salt. Timed-release formulation helps prevent re-icing for up to three days. Safe for animals, children, vegetation, concrete, brick, and stone.
Paw Thaw is a safer ice melter that will not harm your pet when used as directed. It will not harm carpets or floors and will not damage footwear. There isn’t slimy, sticky residue to clean up afterward, either. Paw Thaw also protects against concrete corrosion by forming a coating on the surface. (Do not use on precast or concrete less than one year old.)
SafeStep melts ice and snow down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit using calcium chloride. It does not harm carpets or concrete, and it is safer for people, pets, and lawns. Because SafeStep uses calcium chloride, it can be used for patios, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots, as it will not wear these surfaces down or create cracks and pits.
SNOW & ICE Melt Pellets contain calcium chloride and will melt ice 36 times faster than rock salt will while ensuring no re-freezing. This ice melt is effective in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. It is safe to use on roofs as well. This product is safe for using on concrete and can be used safely around trees, shrubs, and lawns without damaging the plants.
Green Gobbler melts snow and ice in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit. In a test, the product melted twice as much ice as rock salt at 21 degrees Fahrenheit. Magnesium chloride ice melt is less toxic than calcium, potassium, or sodium chloride, so it is safer for pets and friendlier for the environment; in other words, it’s less likely to burn or irritate the skin or pet paws. It’s also less harmful to plants and grasses, and causes less damage to concrete than calcium, potassium or sodium chloride ice melters.
Using the right salt to melt ice and prevent accidents is as essential. So is having car insurance to ensure you’re covered should an accident happen. Good2Go Auto Insurance offers minimum limits car insurance that is fast, easy, and cheap and will get you driving for less up front – with low down payments and convenient payment plans. For a free, no-obligation quote, visit www.good2go.com.
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