Property owners living in New Hampshire know that they are responsible for keeping their driveways and walkways clear of ice. Learning how to use ice melt without harming your trees and vegetation is essential, and helps you protect your entire property all year round.
Most of the commercial ice melt products available are made from four common ingredients. Some products are a mixture of these elements; others consist of only one. Each presents a different danger to your landscape.
The most common ingredients of ice melt include:
- Rock Salt – Also known as sodium chloride, rock salt is affordable and efficient. Salt will effectively melt ice at temperatures above 20˚ Fahrenheit, but too much salt will seriously damage the landscape and the local water supply.
- Potassium Chloride – This ingredient is often combined with rock salt in a 50/50 mixture, producing a safer de-icer for your property.
- Calcium or Magnesium Chloride – Calcium chloride is the traditional ice melting choice, but presents a real danger to your grass and any metal in the area. Magnesium chloride works as well as calcium chloride, but is safer for your yard.
- Urea – Also a fertilizer, urea will melt ice at temperatures 15˚ Fahrenheit and above.
How To Use Ice Melt the Right Way
Each ice melt product will come with specific instructions. Follow those carefully and avoid over-spreading the product. Any excessive ice melt that stays on your grass or in the garden will potentially harm the vegetation.
If you do over-use de-icer products, wash down the entire area with water beginning from the tree base and working out. This will rinse away any excess product, although it may also create more ice. Remember that these ingredients can leech into the soil and damage your trees through the root system, so even if the over-spreading occurs away from your tree, washing down the area protects all vegetation.
Wear gloves to protect your skin from the ice melt. And keep the product stored safely out of the reach of children.
Learning how to use ice melt without harming your trees will help to protect different aspects of your property. Keep your trees healthy and your walkways clear by following instructions and spreading ice melt products lightly and evenly.