Remember last year when you fell on that patch on ice? Don't make that an annual thing. Use ice melt to keep that slippery stuff from taking over your property. If you haven't used ice melt before, don’t worry. What's great about ice melt is that it isn’t hard to use; it just takes a good strategy.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you're putting down ice melt for the first time.
First things first. Here's your to-do list:
- Order calcium chloride or magnesium chloride from your favorite supplier. (Personally, we recommend our 96% Calcium Chloride Ice Melt Pellets.)
- Buy a rotary spreader, too, if you don’t have one already. A rotary spreader will make it easy to disperse the pellets around your property. Green Gobbler's pellets are the perfect size for inexpensive rotary spreaders. So you don't have to break your back hauling around a huge bag of pellets.
- Spread the pellets around your property a few hours before snowfall.
- Walk around your property after the storm. Take note of any problem areas. If there’s still snow or ice in a few problem areas, lay some more pellets on the ground.
That should take care of any thick layers of snow and ice, especially if the temperature has moved below 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
With ice melt, less is always more. If you’re putting down ice melt manually, try to use a gentle hand. Ice melt is powerful, especially in pellet form. And because the pellets are highly concentrated, using too much ice melt could cause some problems.
This is especially the case with rock salt (brine). We don't recommend using rock salt, but if you have to use it, do so with caution. Spread the brine lightly and pick up any leftover salt once the storm has passed.
Anytime you put down ice melt, aim for a constellation-like appearance. Sounds odd, but you'll know you've done a good job if the pellets are spread out like stars in the night sky. That means no clumps, no thick layers, no bald spots. A nice, even layer will do just fine—in normal winter conditions.
After the snow has melted, scoop up any leftover ice melt on your property. If there’s no snow or ice left to melt on your property, the salt can damage your driveway and plants. Scoop up whatever's left and throw it away.