During the winter, ice buildup on sidewalks and driveways can be inconvenient and dangerous, but there are numerous ice melt products available that make it easier for home and business owners to keep the ice at bay.
While some ice melt products work well at lower ambient temperatures, others can be safer to use around vegetation or in areas where pets may frequent. By talking with customers, retailers can discover what product features are most desired and tailor their inventory to match.
Both calcium-magnesium-acetate (CMA) products as well as those made with amide-glycol (such as SafePaw Ice Melter) (www.safepaw.com), are considered safe to use around pets and vegetation, and are also listed as non-corrosive to concrete and other surfaces. Both products work in temperatures at or up to -13 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to an ice melt comparison conducted by Consumer Reports (http://www.consumerreports.org/content/dam/cro/news_articles/home_garden/CRO_home_IceMeltChart_2-14.pdf), products containing calcium chloride, such as Road Runner Ice Melt (www.scotwoodindustries.com), have one of the lowest effective melt temperatures, working as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit, while other products worked best at temperatures at or above 20 degrees. Even with a higher effective melt temperature, one of the more popular products is rock salt, thanks to its low price point.
One key reminder to give customers buying snow melts and deicers is this—a little goes a long way. Even with products listed as safe for vegetation or hard surfaces, over-application can lead to damage, and all products should be kept away from pets and children.