Winter is an enjoyable time of year for many folks. When the snow starts falling, many people head outdoors for a myriad of recreational pursuits. Of course, day-to-day activities still must be accomplished reliably. Shoveling away the snow often results in ice-covered surfaces, such as roads and walkways, which require treatment to reduce or eliminate falls and accidents.
The most popular ice treatment has traditionally been rock salt (sodium chloride). While cheap and plentiful, rock salt is slow to act and it works even slower as temperatures drop. Below -17 degrees Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit), the melting action of rock salt has so little effect that it takes a full pound of salt to melt just four pounds of ice!
Adding calcium chloride to traditional rock salt results in a product that works better and faster. The calcium chloride absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment, and actually generates heat in an exothermic reaction as it melts ice to form a brine. A calcium chloride/rock salt combination remains effective at far lower temperatures than just rock salt alone, and melts the ice more rapidly.
Absorbent Products’ line of Diamond Glacier Ice Melters feature a calcium chloride formulation for rapid melting and low-temperature effectiveness, as well as soluble dyes for easy visibility and application.
An alternative ice treatment gaining popularity is granular traction aid. Instead of brining away the ice, traction aid is applied to the top of the ice to reduce slipperiness and improve grip. As there is no melting action, roads and pathways remain dry and clean.
Absorbent Products’ Diamond Glacier Traction Aid is made of volcanic zeolite, which has a strong, honeycomb-like molecular structure. These granules can withstand foot or vehicle traffic without being crushed, making them a durable and economical choice for safety applications.
An added benefit of zeolite is there is no chance of harming pets or plants, as it is a natural, inert mineral. Any overapplication can easily be swept onto lawns or shrubbery. In fact, this is beneficial to vegetation as zeolite is a registered soil conditioner. Zeolite is also used as a non-toxic, chemical free animal feed additive so there is no danger of poisoning if it is accidentally ingested.
Get out there and enjoy winter…safely!