International Salt’s Arctic Thaw Ice-Melt Blend combines calcium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate (CMA). It also generates heat on contact to quickly break the bond between pavement and snow/ice. It’s designed to work down to -15° F. “The blue crystals are easy to see so that winter maintenance professionals can achieve even application,” Warner adds.
C-Force Calcium Chloride Pellets and Flakes, also from International Salt, works effectively in frigid temperatures—even lower than -25° F. “This 100% calcium chloride product generates heat through an exothermic reaction, resulting in rapid melting of ice and snow,” Warner says.
International Salt’s Blizzard Wizard is another product for when below-zero melting performance is required. While it doesn’t contain calcium chloride, the company says Blizzard Wizard’s special formulation and blending process grants it unique performance characteristics.
“Blizzard Wizard is a proprietary, blended product containing sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, molasses and Ice B’Gone,” Warner explains. Ice B’Gone, a product of Sears Ecological Applications Co., is an 80/20 magnesium chloride/molasses blend. It relies on the fact that low molecular-weight carbohydrates (such as molasses), when mixed in correct proportions with chloride salts (such as magnesium chloride), cause a lower freezing point, otherwise known as a synergistic freezing point depression.
“Blizzard Wizard is distinctive because all components are thoroughly blended as opposed to topically added,” Warner adds. “That yields a product that is consistent throughout and provides below-zero melting capabilities.”
Environmentally Sensitive Areas. Blizzard Wizard is also considered to be environmentally sensitive. Its unique formulation helps reduce both corrosion and overall salt use. The product actually earned a “Design for the Environment” designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Another example is Morton’s EcoSafe Ice Melter which contains a sealing agent which helps prevent concrete damage. It also contains plant growth agents which make it safer for plants. EcoSafe works effective when the temperature is above 5° F.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a deicing agent. The rising cost of running a snow removal business, coupled with the mounting downward pressure on pricing, make it all the more imperative that the right choices are made.
“There’s a desire on the part of winter maintenance professionals to have access to a variety of ice-melt products in order to achieve the desired outcomes required by their varying customer bases,” Warner says. “This results in the need to be as knowledgeable as possible concerning ice-melt ingredients and their respective attributes in order to make appropriate product selections.”
International Salt has invested in the development and presentation of seminars at industry-related events. “The number of attendees at our seminars, as well as those presented by other ice-melt manufacturers, underscores the trend that contractors are eager to learn more about the products available,” Warner points out.
Morton Salt is helping bring useful information to contractors through the use of new media. The company has developed a smart phone app called Morton Pro. It allows snow professionals to enter and store site locations and surface area. “When a plowing event hits, snow pros can enter-in environmental conditions to receive melter and application amount recommendations,” Matuszak explains. “The app is designed to help snow pros maintain their sites safety and efficiently.” Morton Pro is currently available for download to iPhone/iPad and droid platforms.