Concrete Safe Ice Melt

With winter storms right around the corner it’s time to think about snow removal for your driveway, sidewalks and paths. Once the storms hits, the shelves at your local hardware and home improvement stores will be out. You must also consider whether to take the risks associated with these products.

Consumer Reports (http://www.consumerreports.org) lists six types of chemicals which are used to melt ice by homeowners: Calcium Chloride, Calcium Magnesium Acetate, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride (Rock Salt) and Urea/Carbonyl Diamide. The prices for these various ice melt products in their pure form begin between $10 and $20 for a 50 pound bag.

However, Consumer Reports warns that all these products can be deadly for your family and pets, if they are ingested. Even a small amount of good old-fashioned Rock Salt can kill a dog, if the Rock Salt is in its pure form. Plants too can be killed if they come in contact with these products or their run off after the ice melts.

Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores, offer various mixes of these chemicals with fillers in forty pound bags for under $10. If you look at the specifications online you can see which of the chemicals are included in the ice melt mix and in the specifications Lowe’s states whether the products are safe for animals and plants. Trusting these assurances could be dangerous. Even though Lowe’s reports their ice melt mix contains magnesium chloride, they also say the mix is safe for pets. However, Consumer Reports’ site reveals Magnesium Chloride is lethal to your pet if it has liver issues.

Companies such a Morton’s have developed products which they say have overcome these dangers, but these specialized products are much more costly. Walmart has Morton’s Safe-T-Pet Ice Melt in 8 pound bottles for $10.47. That’s more than twice as much as Lowe’s price for their ice melt mix.

Children, pets, plants and your pocketbook are not the only things at risk. The chemicals are dangerous for your property also. Magnesium can damage concrete, chloride eats rebar and acetate breaks the bond between asphalt’s aggregate and binders, so anytime you use ice melt products which contain these chemicals you are inviting danger onto your property.

If you do decide to use chemicals, be sure to carefully follow directions, especially those concerning the amount of product to use. The claims that a product is safe to plants or pets can be directly related to the amount of a chemical included in a measured amount. Use of more puts you back in dangers way.

Whatever product you use, protect your pets by preventing them from drinking any of the runoff from the ice or ingesting any of the products. If a child ingests the product, do not induce vomiting, but immediately call Poison Control (800-222-1222). Do not take the child to the emergency room unless Poison Control tells you to.

With so many dangers associated with ice melt products, your best bet would be to call Lawn Masters Peel for your snow removal projects. You, your family, your pets and your property will be safer without the use of chemicals and you’ll enjoy the wonder of winter so much more.