Trying To De-Ice Pavement? Choose Your Method Carefully

Winter can bring a beautiful blanket of snow and icicles that glisten in the sun. However, when it comes to the practicalities of everyday life, freezing temperatures and icy pathways become a major concern. De-icing pavements is crucial to avoid slips, falls, and potential accidents. With various de-icing methods available, it is essential to choose the right approach. This blog post will outline different de-icing strategies and the factors to consider when selecting an appropriate method.

De-Icing Methods

Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride)

Rock salt, commonly known as sodium chloride, is one of the most popular methods used for de-icing products. It is budget-friendly and widely available. Rock salt lowers the freezing point of water, melting the ice into a slushy mixture that is easier to remove. However, the effectiveness of rock salt diminishes at temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius).


  • Affordable and readily available
  • Easy to apply


  • Less effective in extreme cold
  • Can damage concrete
  • Harmful to plants and pets

Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is another effective option for de-icing products. It is a hygroscopic material that absorbs moisture, generating heat to melt the ice. Calcium chloride works well even in very low temperatures, up to -25 degrees Fahrenheit (-32 degrees Celsius). It is also biodegradable and relatively safe for the environment.


  • Effective in extreme cold
  • Rapid ice-melting action


  • More expensive than rock salt
  • Can cause deterioration of concrete
  • May be harmful if ingested by pets

Magnesium Chloride

Increasingly popular, magnesium chloride works in a similar way as other chloride-based de-icers, melting ice by lowering its freezing point. It is effective in temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit (-25 degrees Celsius) and is considered more environmentally friendly compared to other chloride-based options.


  • Effective in low temperatures
  • Less harmful to plants and animals


  • Moderately expensive
  • Can cause damage to concrete

Eco-friendly Alternatives

There are also a variety of eco-friendly alternatives available, such as beet juice, corn-based products, and sand. These alternatives cause less damage to the environment, pavements, and are safer for pets, albeit generally less effective than chloride-based options.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Safe for pets and plants
  • Less damage to pavements and surfaces


  • Less effective in extreme cold
  • May be more expensive than traditional alternatives


In conclusion, when selecting a de-icing method for your pavement, it is essential to consider factors such as cost, effectiveness at different temperatures, environmental impact, and safety for both humans and pets. No single solution is perfect for all scenarios. However, being aware of the options available and their respective pros and cons will help you make a more informed choice about the right de-icing method to keep your pavements safe this winter.

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