1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Calcium Chloride

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by BiggBilly, May 30, 2007.

  1. BiggBilly

    BiggBilly Junior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 5

    Well since my inquiries in "Brick Plaza" I've been reading about Calcium Chloride. Of the Ice Melters it is the only product that turns ice/snow to brine down to negative numbers
    (-25). Any commentary as to why it wouldn't be the best ice melter to use for me on bricks?


  2. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Yeah, unless your "Bricks" are made by Techo-Bloc, your going to ruin them in a hurry. Techo-Bloc actually warranties their pavers for life INCLUDING if you use salt for deicing.

    This is a great link if you haven't found it yet. http://www.peterschemical.com/seven-things-facility-managers-must-know-about-ice-melters/

    I used CaCl pellets on a paver walkway this winter and the concrete steps. You just have to let your customer know that anything that melts the ice can hurt the hardscape but its either that or someone falls.....
  3. The MAG Man

    The MAG Man Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Clay brick pavers and safe deicer options

    I'm new here so hopefully responding here is ok.

    Bricks are tricky for snow and ice management. The term "brick" is used loosely to describe both cement cast and clay cast red colored blocks, so the first question to answer is are these clay fired bricks or are these cement pavers?

    Assuming they are fired clay bricks, the choices for snow and ice control are a balancing act; you are balancing performance (melting the ice and snow) against adverse consequences (side effects). The adverse consequences of using products containing sodium chloride or calcium chloride on clay brick is predominately deicer derived efflorescence, or carbonate bloom.

    What happens chemically with clay bricks treated with either sodium chloride or calcium chloride is there is a chemical reaction whereby the sodium or calcium ions in the deicer get "free" and then join up with CO2 in the air and form a frosty white bloom of calcium carbonate or sodium carbonate crystals on the surface of the brick post season usually. It can happen days, weeks, or months later but generally it starts in the spring and summer long after the deicers were applied. Brick can have efflorescence problems without deicers, but usually when this problem comes up after a winter it is coming from the deicer use over winter.

    Customers will complain about it and the generally used approach is to power wash off the frost. It cleans up great and when it dries looks normal again. A week later the bloom is back and it will keep coming back until all of the free calcium or free sodium is finally rinsed from the brick. This usually takes the better part of a summer. If these are decorative or memorial bricks with inscriptions then customers will not accept the bloom and when it keeps coming back it's an obvious problem.

    There are other deicers that do not have the chemical ability to form carbonate blooms on clay brick, but if you use calcium chloride or sodium chloride products, you're very likely going to get the carbonate bloom. Sealing the brick helps, but does not eliminate the problem.

    Concrete pavers do not have this problem so make sure the "brick" is truly a clay fired brick product and not a concrete or cement paver product.

    Another issue to be mindful of is spalling damage which is caused by liquids entering and filling up the air matrix of the paver and then the temperature drops below the freezing point of the liquid at which point it expands and mechanically blows apart the paver. Spalling damage from deicers is widely misunderstood and believed to be a chemical attack on the concrete, but it is not: it is mechanical and simply water expanding when it freezes but in this case it expands inside a contained area such as a paver, brick, or concrete walkway.

    Too much information? :dizzy:
  4. parrothead

    parrothead Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    beet juice might be your answer, it has a melting point of -25 with no chloride problems, good luck.
  5. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    :confused: Do you apply it as a liquid? Where do you get quantity of beet juice? how much does it cost? Does it stain?
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007