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joshl 01-14-2011 11:13 AM

Is calciuim cloride a good ice remover
Dear Sirs

Someone said to use calcium cloride in stead of ice melter on sidewalks and driveways

but is this really a good idea , if so what are the negatives & positives


DrHicks 01-14-2011 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by joshl (Post 569947)
Dear Sirs

Someone said to use calcium cloride in stead of ice melter on sidewalks and driveways

but is this really a good idea , if so what are the negatives & positives


Sure, it'll work. The negatives are cost, and that it's corrosive.

You kind of have to weigh out all the options.

nap 01-14-2011 12:01 PM

Calcium chloride has been and continues to be one of the common chemicals used to melt ice.

There are a variety of ice melting chemicals used. Some are effective to lower temperatures than others. Costs vary with the chems effective to lower temps generally costing more.

At this site:

they claim the calcium chloride is not only one of the most effective but also most cost effective chemicals.

Here is that sites take on sodium chloride (rock salt)

concretemasonry 01-14-2011 12:05 PM

There is no real definition for "ice melter", so it can depend on what is cheap and locally readily available and it is a blend of things like common salt (sodium chloride), magnesium chloride, potassium chloride and some other materials.

"Salt" (sodium chloride) is very cheap and available everywhere and does not work when it gets cold for a friction since it does not melt at those temperatures, It is harmful to concrete (especially non air entrained concrete) and to some vegetation.

The other materials like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are far better for ice melting in cold climates and usually are not as damaging to concrete and vegetation. Magnesium chloride works good in a cold environment and a very little bit of regular rock salt will some traction.

Since we have a cold dry climate here in the winter, the clean freeways and major streets are sprayed with a liquid (magnesium chloride and a vegeitable compound) before a storm to prevent the snow from sticking, so it can be plowed very easily and melts well off the surface of the road. It does not work on a wet surface since it gets diluted. It is amazing to see 6" to 12" of snow plowed quickly with nothing to speak of on the road that the sun will not remove in a few hours.

DrHicks 01-14-2011 12:17 PM

Sounds like we have snow-state people chiming in. I lived in Minnesota for nearly 20 years.

I think we'd all agree that one of the main problems with any of this salt and/or chloride compounds is seen on our vehicles. RUST.

concretemasonry 01-14-2011 12:43 PM

I lived in the rust belt (MI where salt is used to promote shortened car life and new sales). In all my travels, places (OH, IND, So WI and IA) where it is warmer use far to much salt and there is definitely more car rust. When I first lived in MN, the conditions of just dumping common salt (NaCl) were common, but everything has changed. Unfortunately we still get a few wet snows fed by southern moisture with little cold temperatures here they are tough to remove. I will take an "Alberta Clipper" from the NW that runs on schedle (like on rails) to the hour and is always light and dry and followed by cold, clear weather. We now have series of them coming through about once a day. Yesterday, we had a zero visability of light snow with big flakes for about 1 1/2 hours and the total measured accumulation was 0.08" because the wind and car movement totally eliminated the snow. - I appreciate the problems that the east coast is seeing with amount of heavy wet snow that is a real mess that does not go away.


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