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 salt, but the two most commonly used for de-icing products are Calcium Chloride & Magnesium Chloride.
Both of these chlorides are hygroscopic; pulling moisture from the air, activating a melt even in subzero temperatures as low as -25F.
These are used in three different ways for pavement ice control:
The Cold Hard Facts
You should use different ice-melt blends for different climates -- TRUE!
Ice melting is chemistry. It is a science. An effective ice melt compound must contain the appropriate elements for your particular climate.
The cheapest ice-melt will work as well as the more expensive ice-melt -- FALSE!
Straight salt, sodium chloride (NaCl), is a relatively inexpensive ingredient and does not actively melt ice.
The more salt you use the faster it will melt the Ice -- FALSE!
Applying more and more inappropriate product will only lead to vegetation kill, corrosion and wasted resources.
Calcium Chloride is a corrosion inhibitor and in return is believed to be more safe on concrete, vegetation, for pets etc. -- FALSE!
Calcium Chloride, when used in its 100% straight form, can causes discoloration and deterioration of concrete, creates an oily brine presenting a slip & fall hazard that is easily tracked into buildings, soiling and damaging flooring. Calcium Chloride in its straight form produces an exothermic heat which can burn skin, paws and cause irritation.
Magnesium Chloride Blends are less corrosive and better for the environment. -- TRUE!
The salt releases 40% less chloride into the environment that either rock salt or calcium chloride. It is far less damaging to concrete and plants.
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 Certified 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.