It can be very dangerous to drive around on icy roads or during a snowstorm. In order to take proper safety precautions, many people use rock salt as a go-to solution since it rapidly increases the melting time of snow and ice. Luckily, there are many alternatives to rock salt that work just as well and are more environmentally friendly. Here’s what you need to know about the alternatives to rock salt.
How Does Rock Salt Affect The Environment?
Calcium chloride, the chemical name for rock salt, is a staple product for de-icing concrete. Even though it does a good job keeping ice off of the road, rock salt can have negative effects on the environment.
There’s evidence that shows rock’s negative effects on water quality. According to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, rock salt is often introduced to water sources and soil due to runoff. High concentrations of chloride can alter the chemical balance in the water. This can make the water unsafe for drinking and affects animals that inhabit in these water sources.
Rock salt alters the chemical structure of water. The chloride in calcium chloride affects the production and distribution of oxygen in the water, making it potentially unsafe for human consumption. Even more, it hinders the habitable waters that fish and plant life live in. While rock salt is good for de-icing our roads, it can affect our infrastructure.
Studies have shown that excessive use of calcium chloride poses negative effects on infrastructure. A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests that concrete reinforced with steel may deteriorate when it’s exposed to excessive amounts of rock salt. Bridges may be susceptible to corrosion when steel is exposed to a lot of rock salt.
Why Should I Look for An Alternative for Ice Prevention?
While rock salt can be an effective and safe material for de-icing, there are many alternatives that are safer for concrete and the environment. Here are a few reasons why you should look into alternatives to rock salt.
They Are Safer for Vegetation
Finding an alternative to rock salt can be better for soil and water quality. A blog post from Facilities Net points to potassium and magnesium chloride as being a safe alternative for deicing. Urea, a fertilizer, is also a great deicer and promotes agricultural growth. You can also use items from your everyday life for de-icing!
They Can Be Cheaper
Did you know that you can use household products to get rid of the ice? According to a post from Huffington Post, you can use coffee grounds for de-icing. Granted you can’t spread coffee grounds across the street, it works well for driveways and your front steps. Kitty litter and sand can also provide traction on slick surfaces.
Final Word on the Alternatives
Rock salt is a staple product for de-icing because it can tackle larger amounts of ice. However, there are alternatives that are effective and safe for the environment. If you have a large stretch of land that needs assistance with de-icing maintenance, give American Landscape a call!