1. Match your ice melt to your weather challenges.
Single-ingredient and economy melters are not usually designed to work in low temperatures. Blends, such as Road Runner Ice Melt and Superior Sno N Ice, are balanced among agents with different purposes to provide low working temperatures of -15F to -20F degrees, and safety.
2. Avoid straight rock salt or potassium chloride.
Rock salt and/or potassium chloride are less expensive, but prone to cause concrete damage and metal corrosion. Rock salt is a relatively slow melter. Calcium chloride is an efficient melter, but also hard on concrete and landscape. Magnesium chloride is a fast and safe melter but a little more costly. Blended products are balanced to reduce harm while maintaining high melting action.
3. Use a hard-working product and reduce over-application.
Labor of application is increased when the product must be applied repeatedly, and applying too much increases the chance for damage. 1/4 cup per square yard is a good rule of thumb. This allows for a light additional application later if necessary. If your product does not do the job at this rate, it may not be a cost-effective choice.
4. Store the product well.
Better products cake very minimally, and storage in moisture-tight containers extends life. Because ice melt is activated by moisture (and friction), it starts to work when air laden with humidity penetrates the container. A convenience tip: products in buckets can be resealed throughout the season and afterwards, whereas open bags must be either re-bagged or taped tightly.
5. Don't wait to stock up.
Ice melt products are heavy and somewhat difficult to move. If you wait to order your melter until once the snow is forecast, you risk not getting it on time. Once it arrives, you may need to distribute the product throughout your facility. In the mean time, walkways remain dangerous. Ordering late in the season can be a risky proposition, too. You may not find product available or have to use something less desirable.
6. Pre-treat to beat ice and save.
Pre-treating surfaces is an excellent method of reducing the overall amount of product used. By distributing in advance, the product can keep ice from bonding to surfaces. This workd better than if it must start working at the top surface and melt down.
7. Avoid adding sand.
Sand will increase traction, but it also is hard to remove from buildings and deteriorates floor surfaces and carpets rapidly. Use of the right ice melting product can help you avoid the need to add sand. Mopping up grit several times daily during inclement weather will save floor finishes. PUR-O-ZONE's Bond-Ayd is a good product for removing ice melt residue from indoor floors.
8. "To go" is for hamburgers. Get your ice melt product delivered.
Ice melt is heavy. Save backs and vehicles by purchasing from a supplier that provides delivery to your dock or door.