In terms of maintenance tasks, applying an ice melt product probably seems like a no-brainer: throw out some ice melt and the job is done. In reality, using the wrong amount of product, or applying it in the wrong way, can render your ice melt useless. What’s worse, it can also mean that you’re wasting your time and your product. Applying ice melt correctly, in the right amount, and on the right surfaces, ensures that your walkways are safe for travelers and that you don’t overspend on ice melt each year.
How to Spread Ice Melt
The easiest way to apply an ice melt product is by using a lawn fertilizer spreader. These can be easily purchased at any home improvement or hardware store, and either a push or handheld type can be used, depending on your preference. For ice melt products, a little goes a long way, so it is important to know how much to apply. Too little product means that ice will not be completed melted, and too much product is wasteful and poses more risk for damage to vegetation. For most products, just 2 to 4 ounces is enough to treat one square yard of the surface.
Where It Needs to be Used
This is probably the least confusing part of using an ice melt product. Where does it need to be applied? Simple: anywhere you are going to have foot traffic. Typically this means sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots. By applying your ice melt product in all of these places, you are reducing the chances of any costly slip-and-fall accidents on your property.
When it comes to applying your ice melt product, the best time to start thinking about it is before a storm actually hits. Not only does this mean ensuring you have an adequate supply of ice melt on hand, but it also means being prepared to apply the product before snow begins to fall. Ice melt products are only effective when they can reach the ground, where ice forms. By pre-treating your walkways, you ensure that the product does its job by binding to surfaces before ice can. It also means that you have to use less product than you would if you waited until after ice or snow built up, saving you both time and money. More ice melt can be applied during and after storms. If more than one inch of snow accumulates, it is best to shovel snow off of your surfaces before applying more ice melt to ensure that it can work correctly.
Make Sure to Clean Up
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that people make when using ice melt is failing to clean it up when its job is done. After storms have passed, it is a good idea to scoop up and dispose of any remaining ice melt particles. This ensures that you don’t end up with too much built up over time and that you keep as much ice melt product as possible from contaminating any neighboring landscaping.
In addition, ice melt gets tracked every time someone walks into your building, which can cause damage to your flooring. When left unchecked, both calcium and magnesium chloride products can leave an oily residue on surfaces that can damage urethane or wax finishes. This residue can also present a slipping hazard on smooth flooring, and attract dirt and grime on carpeting. The best way to help prevent these issues is to use track mats, both inside and outside of your entrances, to collect the ice melt product. The mats will then need to be vacuumed or mopped throughout the day to prevent too much product from building upon them.
In order to address your specific needs, we offer two different ice melt products. Both are calcium chloride and magnesium chloride ice melts outperform rock salt-based products and are safer for the environment. No matter which you choose, we hope these tips help you to be better prepared to use your ice melt this season!