Is Ice Melt on Pavers Safe to Use During Winter?

Whether you’re ready or not, cold weather is here. That means ice and snow aren’t too far behind. Although it can create some pretty scenery, winter weather also causes slippery sidewalks and pathways. As you are gathering your winter supplies, remember the shovels and snow blowers. But there is another helpful tool: ice melt. Is it safe to use ice melt on pavers?

What Is Ice Melt?

Ice melt is a product used on a variety of pavers to remove snow and ice that has formed on them. So how does ice melt work? It works by lowering the point at which water freezes, preventing the buildup of snow and ice. Typically, ice melt is applied to the paver patios far enough in advance that it will prevent accumulation. It can also be used after the snow falls. In this case, it will make the ice turn into slush, sliding off the paver.

The Different Types of Ice Melt

Because not all walking surfaces are the same, different types of ice melt are available. Each mixture is effective at different temperatures. Ice melt may have a unique shape or color, depending on the brand you buy, but it generally has similar effects on the surface you use it on.

Ice melt is an amalgamation of different ingredients, but it is usually salt-based. Common ingredients include calcium magnesium acetate, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, and potassium chloride.

Calcium Magnesium Acetate

Calcium magnesium acetate works best at temperatures of 20 degrees and below. Not only does it melt snow and ice, but it prevents refreezing, too. However, there may be a leftover slush wherever this product is used.

Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride is best known as rock salt. When it turns into a liquid, it releases chloride. This can damage metal and concrete, as well as cause water pollution. It is one of the cheapest ice melts, but it is also one of the most harmful. Experts do not recommend this form of ice melt for pavers.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is one of the newer ice melt products. It’s designed to prevent tracking, which means it won’t end up inside your house! Once the temperature goes below a certain point, the snow and ice melt. The salt contained in this product is not as bad for the environment as other types of ice melt.

Calcium Chloride

When you want to use ice melt on pavers, calcium chloride is listed as the top choice. It can take in moisture and begin dissolving snow and ice immediately. It works at temperatures as low as 25 degrees below freezing and can prevent the area from refreezing.

Potassium Chloride

If you’re dealing with concrete, potassium chloride is one of the best ice melts. Most people prefer this product because it clears away build-up. It’s effective on concrete and is eco-friendly, too.

What’s the Best Type of Ice Melt to Use on Pavers?

Some ice melts can chemically react with concrete and cause cosmetic or structural damage. Therefore, you must carefully choose a product if you decide to use ice melt on pavers. Calcium chloride is often recommended for concrete pavers because it causes less damage than other options.

If you have brick pavers, you may need to consider a different type of ice melt. Magnesium chloride is safe and effective on chemically treated brick pavers. When you’re deciding which ice melt to use, consider all of the possibilities. Many products can cause damage to your pavers and harm the environment if they are not used correctly.

Maintaining Your Pavers

Always follow the directions listed on the product and remove as much snow as possible before applying the ice melt on pavers. If you have any questions about which ice melt is best for your patio, contact the team at 7th State Builders. We can help you, whether you simply want to make the most out of your existing patio or to build the patio of your dreams!