Each winter the demand for de-icing products spikes significantly as winter is harsher each year.
Two of the most common de-icing products are brown and white gritting rock salt. Both products are effective in managing the buildup of ice on roads and pavements and both can be easily spread. In fact, in a short amount of time these rock salts can cover quite a large area. Also, both are cost efficient and effective.
Salt works by lowering the melting point of ice. When salt mixes with any moisture or water, a saline solution is created (salty water). This saline solution will freeze at a lower point than fresh water, making it more difficult for ice to form.
Brown Rock Gritting Salt
Brown rock salt is just as effective as white rock salt in preventing formation of ice on surfaces. It is preferred by many as it provides better traction. It is very useful for gritting driveways, paths, car parks and roads in the winter time. As the brown salt thaws the ice its large particles provide traction under foot, this helps ensure pathways are safe to walk on. One advantage of brown rock salt is that you can clearly see which surfaces are safe to walk on, therefore preventing a serious injury from occurring as a result of wintery weather. Some will say that brown rock salt has its disadvantages. It does have the potential to leave stains on some surfaces and has a visible residue once melted. Some look at this left over gritty residue as an advantage.
White Rock Salt
White rock salt is known to have higher concentrations of sodium bicarbonate than brown rock salt, which allows it to dissolve snow in a shorter period of time. Once the snow dissolves it lowers the waters freezing point which makes it difficult for ice to form. It also becomes almost invisible to the naked eye once it melts, therefore it does not affect the aesthetics of a surface or leave a gritty residue behind.
Proven to be Effective and Cost-Efficient
Many wonder if they purchase rock salt for concrete or for melting ice or for other uses as well and have an amount left over at the end of the season if it can be used for the next season. The answer is yes, which makes it even more cost-efficient. Rock salt has been forming in the ground for hundreds of millions of years, therefore it is sustainable. However, it does need to be stored in a dry area and in a closed bag/container if possible. This is to prevent the salt from dissolving. The salts also contain an anti-caking agent which is added and works by preventing it from clumping together even if it should become exposed to some moisture.
The wintery roads, walkways, car parks, and paths are best maintained by either brown rock salt grit or white rock salt. They are proven to be effective and can be stored for later use giving the added benefit of being cost-effective.
As the winters become harsher, Kim McPherson researches way to maintain safety while outdoors. She enjoys sharing this information with her readers in hopes of keeping them safe as well.