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Ice melt mistakes to avoid

Here’s a summary of the top 5 mistakes as compiled by the major ice melt makers and reported in CleanLink magazine.

Not treating walkways is risky

Mistake #1: Not using ice melt

Whether it’s due to not knowing safe practices, desire to save money, or simple laziness, not using ice melt is expensive if slips and falls turn into worker comp claims or worse. Let alone the suffering of fellow employees or visitors and the loss of their contribution!

Mistake #2: Using too much

Applying ice melt with scoops or shovels almost always leads to wasteful excess and messy tracking into facilities. It may also burn vegetation. Instead, use a walk-behind or hand-crank spreader. Also, buying colored deicer makes it easier to judge the proper amount to apply.


Too much ice melt, spread incorrectly

EnviroThaw is a colored Exothermic deicer

Mistake #3: Choosing the wrong type

There are two primary ice melt types, based on whether they absorb or release heat on contact. Exothermic deicers release heat, work the fastest and over a wider temperature range. Endothermic deicers work more slowly and over a narrower temperature range. They absorb the sun’s warmth and use it to melt ice. Typically, deicers that work faster and at lower temperatures, cost more. Ideally, buy the type that’s best suited for your normal temperature range.

Mistake #4: Applying it incorrectly

Spread ice melt on the ground before a storm hits, not atop piles of snow. If that’s not possible, apply it before precipitation freezes, as quickly as you can thereafter, or right after clearing pathways. Contrary to popular belief, ice melt does not harm concrete but don’t use it on brick. It’s too porous so absorbed moisture freezes.

Right way to apply ice melt after paths are cleared

Mistake #5: Failing to clean up

Depending on the chemical make-up of your ice melt, it could either leave a white powdery residue that eventually dulls floors – if not cleaned up – or an unsafe oily residue that can damage waxed or urethane wood floor finishes. So use track mats inside and outside entrances and vacuum or mop them throughout a stormy day.

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