We have had our share of ice in Chicago already! It seems to have come earlier this year, which could mean more frequent use of salt on your driveways, sidewalks and other areas of your property. Before you head out and purchase just any bag of salt, heed those careful precautions to keep yourself and your property safe.
The Magic of Salt
Salt does work magic on the ice on your property, making it safer to walk on and less likely that someone will fall and get work. Unfortunately, it also poses dangers to humans, pets and even your landscaping. Many products promise to be child and pet friendly, but that should not be enough – you need to understand the ingredients to know what is safest for your home.
The Different Types of Salt
Rock Salt – This is the most common and cheapest form of salt. Unfortunately, it is also the most harmful. You will find this type of salt in most of the large, cheap bags. Yes, it gets the job done, but it typically takes large quantities of it to melt the ice. In addition, these large amounts can wear away at your concrete or other surface that you place it on, leaving you with damages to deal with in the spring.
Calcium Containing Products – Calcium products are the most effective, especially in the frigid cold temperatures we have been experiencing. These products also work faster than any other salt product and can be used in small quantities. These products are typically considered environmentally friendly as well.
Magnesium Containing Products – Magnesium products is the newest products to hit the market. They are considered the most environmentally friendly, but can also be the most expensive. These products work up to 0 degrees and are effective in small quantities.
Regardless of the type of salt that you use on your property, try to avoid having it brought into the house. Have everyone remove their shoes at the entryway and always wash children’s hands and pets’ paws to remove any traces of the salt to prevent any long term harm from occurring.