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Ice is a fact of Canadian life. Together with snow and snow blow, ice is part of winters and early springs in cities throughout this province, such as Cambridge Ontario. Several products are available to address this issue. In fact, the proliferation of ice melts on the market can make choosing one over the other. This is particularly true if you only have a name to go by. Before you make a decision, it is important to first understand what the content of a product is. It is also essential to know what ice melt performs best for the job you have in mind.

Factors Affecting Choice

When considering the available ice melts on the market, it is necessary to look at specific characteristics. However, while several are important, two qualities are of primary importance:

  • Will the material remove ice at the lowest temperatures your region experiences?
  • How fast will it melt the ice and, therefore, reduce the potential for pedestrian problems?

Other factors to consider are the presence of vegetation in the de-icing area. More important to most Cambridge Ontario homeowners is whether the salt is harmful to their concrete, asphalt, lawn, children and/or pets.

Basic Facts about Snow Melts

Essentially, consumers have a choice between products comprised of any of six different salts. Generally, these appear in combination. However. Several products do offer pet-friendly alternatives that utilize other ingredients, many of them biodegradable.

  • Calcium Chloride (CaCl2): One of the most popular options, calcium chloride, has one specific attractive quality. When the temperature sinks below -32°C (40°F), it is still effective.  However, like most salts, it is mildly corrosive and negatively impacts lawns and other forms of vegetation. Magnesium chloride is considered environmentally friendly and better than most for use around pets. It lowers water’s freezing point to -13 degrees Fahrenheit. The downside is that it could damage your concrete, asphalt, and plants.
  • Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA): This salt is less corrosive than others are.  It is less damaging to concrete. This makes it effective for clearing concrete driveways and walkways. However, it is more expensive and limited in its applications to no lower than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Like Urea, it can have a potentially negative impact on aquatic plant life.
  • Rock salt/Sodium Chloride: Of all the salts, rock salt is the one most commonly used. This is mainly because it is inexpensive. However, it is problematic in several ways. It is damaging to most surfaces. It is also lethal if ingested by pets and can harm at its job when the temperatures sink lower.
  • Potassium chloride: Although touted as more friendly for pets, it is actually bad for ant type of vegetation. Moreover, it works slowly and does not function well at temperatures lower than 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Urea: This is another slow-acting melter. Like potassium chloride, it is not effective if the temperature sinks below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, research indicates that, while possibly less harmful to vegetation, it can negatively affect aquatic vegetation.


When making a decision on what product is most suitable for help in ice and snow removal, research. Be sure to understand any negative consequences and mitigate them when possible. This includes cleaning up any and all residue immediately. Take precautions where pets, children, and any form of wild animal or plant live. If you have any questions, contact an expert in ice and snow removal services. Use a third-party app such as Eden App – available via Apple, Android, or visit edenapp.com to facilitate the process.

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