Ice Melt 101
Let's Talk about salt!
What is salt and why do we use it on ice?
Salt (NaCl) is a natural mineral made up of white cube-shaped crystals composed of two elements, sodium and chlorine.
Salting icy roads and walkways lowers the freezing point of the water that forms ice which leads to melting and prevents falling snow or rain from being able to freeze. Though salt can be effective, it does have some negative impacts on the environment.
There are many types of deicers, but two most commonly used high performance chlorides are Calcium Chloride & Magnesium Chloride. Both of these are hygroscopic, which means they pull moisture from the air, activating a melt even in subzero temperatures, as low as -25 F.
What is CMA?
CMA (Calcium Magnesium Acetate) is a proven low corrosion deicer.
CMA exhibits extremely low corrosion rates on metals generally found in bridges, roadways, parking garages and other concrete systems. It is most commonly described as being as corrosive as tap water.
Switching to CMA on chloride-contaminated concrete structures will likely extend their useful life. CMA is non-corrosive towards steel reinforcement in concrete and can seize initial corrosion induced by prior use of rock salt deicer.
How does it work?
CMA interferes with the ability of snow particles to adhere to each other or to the surface when mixed with snow. It will not create a flowing brine like salt and other chlorides but will keep snow lighter and much drier which improves traction. When applied early in the storm, it will prevent formation of snowpack and the bonding of the ice to the pavement surface in order for snow and ice to be easily removed.
CMA is proven to non-corrosive and safe on new concrete unlike chloride based de-icers.
Save Your Concrete
Viper Melt is a calcium magnesium acetate blend with Leed Characteristics if applied properly. It contains 20% CMA and is blended with our Purple Heat with a purple non-staining dye. It has melting temperatures down to -13F. Applying Viper Melt will decrease corrosion 70-80% from using any other ice melt blend.
When maintenance professionals apply onto roads before a snowstorm to prevent snow from sticking and ice from forming.
De-icers provide better traction for vehicles when applied to road or concrete.
Salt lowers the melting point of water making the snow less likely to form ice on top the surface.