Winter is here, and with that comes snow and ice removal. Both rock salt and ice melt are made and sold as bagged pellets which come with a few distinctions. Many of us have heard of using “salt” to de-ice or remove snow from sidewalks, driveways, and other areas, but do you know the difference between these bagged pellets? Read on to discover the variations.

Rock Salt
Also known as halite, these pellets have naturally-occurring chunks of pure sodium chloride, also known as salt. Rock salt prevents ice from forming in temperatures above 5°F.

Ice Melt
In addition to sodium chloride (salt), these pellets contain chemicals such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, which melt ice in temperatures as low as -10°F. The exact proportions vary by brand.

Which melts faster? Ice melt typically melts more quickly and is effective at lower temperatures.

Which is the least expensive? Rock salt is generally less costly than ice melt; however, the crystalline pellets can damage concrete, decks, and patios.

Does one corrode more? Both ice melt and rock salt cause corrosion to concrete and metal surfaces. Apply both sparingly or mix with sand for extra traction.

Are they safe for pets? Neither rock salt nor ice melt is safe for pets. Thoroughly wash pets’ paws after being outside. While some ice melt products claim they are “pet friendly,” this claim only applies to the individual pellets, not the residue left after the product is applied.

T&T Property Maintenance has been visualizing, creating, and maintaining commercial properties since 1997. We offer a vast number of services for our clients, including lawn and landscape maintenance, irrigation set up and repair, fertilization, weed and pest control, snow plowing and salting, and tree trimming and stump grinding. We are licensed with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, so you can rest assured we will do the job right – every time. We work with commercial businesses of any size and offer our services in seasonal or yearly packages, and a la carte. For over 20 years, we believe a satisfied customer is the only kind of customer. Check out our website, call, or e-mail us today to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: