Liquid Deicers – Say Goodbye To a Slippery Driveway

It is that time of the year when storm events catch us by surprise. As a contractor, homeowner or building manager, you have to put up with the problems caused by now, ice and rainfall when they come knocking. There are dozens of deicing material on the market today. So how do you choose the right one?

Traditionally, deicing involved the application of one of the following ingredients to get rid of the unwanted ice.

 

Calcium chloride

Calcium chloride was mostly used because it easily absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and hence can work at low temperatures. However, the cost of using calcium chloride is higher than that of Liquid Deicers. High concentrations of the chemical are also harmful to both plants and animals.

 

Rock salt

Sodium chloride is known to reduce the melting point of ice. The application of this substance is however limited due to several setbacks. Firstly, it cannot function effectively at temperatures below 20 degrees meaning it cannot effectively get rid of the ice. Though it has no effect on pavements, rock salt is highly corrosive to metal especially steel and rebar. It can also damage lawns and plants.

 

Potassium chloride and urea

Some people have used these chemicals for deicing. Potassium chloride and urea are common ingredients in fertilizers. When used at high concentrations, these chemicals are harmful to plants and animals. They are also corrosive to steel and rebar structures.

 

 

Calcium chloride

Calcium chloride was mostly used because it easily absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and hence can work at low temperatures. However, the cost of using calcium chloride is higher than that of Liquid Deicers. High concentrations of the chemical are also harmful to both plants and animals.

Following the above argument, it is, therefore, evident that none of these traditional methods can meet the modern users’ demands. It, therefore, calls for a better solution. The development of liquid deicers enhanced the ability to clear surfaces of the ice in an easy, safe and cost-effective way.

 

Liquid Deicing involves the placement of liquid deicing agents on the pavements surface before the accumulation of frozen precipitation or application to an existing pack of the frozen matter.

 

How liquid deicers work

They work by preventing the bonding of water molecules beyond certain temperatures to form ice. They increase the adhesive forces between the melting agent and the water molecules thereby preventing self-bonding of the water molecules. In simple terms, these agents act as impurities to the water molecules.

 

They can remain active on the ground long after application, therefore, delaying the reformation of ice over a period. Since most of these agents are organic compounds, they have little or no impact on the environment.