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Which de-icer to use?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by silvetouch, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. silvetouch

    silvetouch Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    I keep experimenting with different ice melt products to use and i am still not sure which is the best to use for the money.

    what has everyone else found to be the most effective on sidewalks with out using a straight calcium chloride or Peladow?

    - Thanks
     
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,865

  3. toby4492

    toby4492 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,513

    Subscribed :popcorn:
     
  4. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    I will ask you the same thing I ask all our prospective clients:

    "What do you need your deicer to do, and what will your budget allow?"

    Answer that question, and that will establish a baseline to work with. A quick "cheat sheet" version is this: CHEAP (rock salt, 5°) <--------> EXPENSIVE (calcium chloride, -25°)

    Figure out a few basic needs, and the rest is easy.

    :D
     
  5. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    I like colorful packaging.
     
  6. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Me Too...Im In..xysport
     
  7. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Well put Mark...You could take the Pretty package after you are done spreading the contents and lay it over the ice....
     
  8. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    LMFAO :laughing:
    Thats sig material right there :jester:
    I like the bags with volcano's on them :nod:

    IMHDAO seems the prettier the bag is, the higher the percentage of sodium. :drinkup:
    The Envirotech cal bags are as lame as it gets, but the stuff works...
     
  9. silvetouch

    silvetouch Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    Most of the time temps are in the 20° to close to the freezing mark when we apply deicer. i want to be able to put an application down either after i shovel or when there is up to around a 1/4" of snow and it melt. I tried some product last year (can't remember the name) and it didn't do much of anything. When i went back and read the packaging, i remember it saying something like "shovel, then apply, then shovel excess slush away, etc etc etc...."

    I will use calcium if absolutely necessary if temps. call for it. Also, i don't want something that is cheap if it doesn't work either.
    hope that answers your questions.
     
  10. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Was it I-P-Y sodium chloride? It's been hard to find lately.....:nod:
     
  11. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Temperature wise, it would seem that plain old rock should work pretty well in those temps, unless there's a detail missing here? My rule of thumb for "exotic" chemicals is "only as much as you need--no more." Rarely is more better, in fact most times I see ridiculous over-applications of calcium or magnesium by guys who don't really understand how the chemicals work. The days of "Calcium is best, pour it on!" are long gone. We know now how the different chemicals can benefit one another, and we have some more recent developments to consider as well--sugar (the "magic" ingredient, so to speak--also how beet juice, Ice Ban and Ice B Gone (aka: Magic O) work, but the proportions must be right on. It's more complicated than this, but just an example)

    The basic goal is to get a good brine, and rock is still a good starting point unless you have special circumstances like extreme temperatures, corrosion or damage to adjacent turf/plants. As far as bagged blends go, a few that we've had excellent results with are Morton's Pro Grade (90/10 rock/cal, pretty cheap--$7 bag or less for truckloads) for typical colder weather or for lowering your refreeze point. Advertised to -15°, for comparison's sake.
    http://www.mortonsalt.com/products/road_sidewalk/ice_melter_PG.html

    Industrial Melt by Scotwood (Road Runner in a generic bag--no joke), also around $7 truckload, but contains pot & mag also. Advertised to -15°.

    http://www.scotwoodindustries.com/pageprodindustrialstrength.htm

    The product we recommend most often is the Natural Alternative product by NaturaLawn, and mostly because landscapers *love* it for spring clean up, or lack thereof. An actual blended crystal treated with a blended liquid makes for a unique product that works quickly in above zero (advertised to -12°), doesn't refreeze easily, and is super gentle on the greenery. Another bonus is no "goo" or tracking of "goo" since there are no straight cal or mag pellets. A mid-priced product ($9-ish for truckloads), the cost is offset by the lower application rate--as long as you have guys using it that understand that.

    https://store.naturalawn.com/shared/content/Product_pdfs/Ice Melt Benefits.pdf
    https://store.naturalawn.com/shared/content/Product_pdfs/Ice Melt FAQs.pdf

    There are so many blends out there, it can be really confusing to sort through them all. That's why I try to get as much information as possible on the products we offer, so that we can answer questions with actual answers rather than semi-educated guesses.

    Hope this helps!!
     
  12. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    I heard sodium chloride is on back order...??

    :dizzy:
     
  13. silvetouch

    silvetouch Senior Member
    Messages: 336


    sorry, i forgot to include in my original post that the contracts specifically say NO rock salt on sidewalks.
     
  14. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Ah yes--missing detail. For that I would try the Natural Alternative product. We sell a lot of this for sidewalk use, as it doesn't track like cal or mag, but doesn't hurt vegetation or concrete like straight rock salt. No white residue either (the telltale rock salt trace) unless you just dump piles of it on. Also, because it has a smaller sizing (2.2mm, to be exact) it doesn't resemble rock salt, either. I have found that particle size plays a significant factor is what people perceive as rock salt ("rock salt is big chunky stuff"), so that's something to consider with any deicer, but I don't know what's available in your area.
     
  15. silvetouch

    silvetouch Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    Yeah, i was thinking that or the roadrunner generic that you have. How does that stuff compare?
     
  16. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    The Road Runner/Industrial Strength product is not going to be as easy on the turf, and may track somewhat due to the solid cal and mag pellets. But, it does carry a lower price, which does play part in the decision, of course. Also worth mentioning is that anything with solid cal pellets may "roll away" if spread too aggressively or too fast. Calcium pellets are little white BBs, and they will roll....and roll....and roll. I thought it sounded a bit exaggerated until I paid closer attention when spreading it--it really does keep right on going until it runs into something (usually something your *don't* want calcium on, LOL).

    :D
     
  17. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Also, the Industrial is all white, versus the NaturaLawn is green. Trivial, but worth mentioning for sake of visibility and perception by the people.
     
  18. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,865

    Careful, those are NOT the same products. Being in the industry you should know that.

    One of them has a huge difference over the others.

    1000 points for the one who can tell me which one and what makes it different.
     
  19. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,172

    Beet juice is diff as far as I know. The other 2 have mag chloride in the mix.
     
  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,865

    1000 points to Joe!

    You are the wiener!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :salute: :jester: xysport :redbounce

    Congratulations

    PS Now you're going to start scaring away the other posters like I am, apparently.