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[Lowe's] (Ontario) Ice Patrol Road Salt 22lb $2.79

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  • Feb 27th, 2020 12:52 pm
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Newbie
Nov 7, 2018
62 posts
59 upvotes
Ottawa

[Lowe's] (Ontario) Ice Patrol Road Salt 22lb $2.79

10 replies
Newbie
Aug 8, 2015
52 posts
50 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I might get bashed for this question, but are these cheaper snow melters any worse for the environment than the other premium ones like Scotts etc etc ? As much as possible id like to reduce the harm on the environment even if it means having to pay like 10-15$ more for the whole season
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2017
791 posts
703 upvotes
West GTA
1derfool wrote: I might get bashed for this question, but are these cheaper snow melters any worse for the environment than the other premium ones like Scotts etc etc ? As much as possible id like to reduce the harm on the environment even if it means having to pay like 10-15$ more for the whole season
Yeah, somewhat - cheap ones are straight salt (sodium chloride), the kind you eat. It's corrosive to metal, hard on surfaces in general, and tough on plants. While in the Great Lakes there's centuries of current salt use needed before it'll really damage the water (though it'll happen), communities around smaller water sources will see salinity rise and will eventually kill off aquatic life, like within the lifespan of people currently born. Other ice melters aren't great for water either, but often you have to use less to make it work, and some use stuff that isn't salt which is more waterway-friendly. The salt slush in cheap melter can also be hard on animals.

Fancy ice melters usually use less salt (chloride based molecules, including ones that aren't rock salt and work in colder temperatures), and more non-salts. Some use some urea (not exactly perfect either, though generally plant safe it's bad for waterways), acetates (easier on plants), etc. They tend to work better, and cost more, and be easier on plants, roads, metal, pets and waterways than rock salt. You also need less.

An even better trick is to put the melt down before the snow falls (it prevents surface bonding, which makes it work a lot better), using a smaller amount (often people use too much), or even not using a melter at all and using a grit instead, like sand, wood ash, etc that provides traction without you needing to melt the ice.

I bought Alaskan Ice and it's great - works well, easy to apply, I use it sparingly.
Member
May 29, 2017
213 posts
63 upvotes
Canada
grumble wrote: Yeah, somewhat - cheap ones are straight salt (sodium chloride), the kind you eat. It's corrosive to metal, hard on surfaces in general, and tough on plants. While in the Great Lakes there's centuries of current salt use needed before it'll really damage the water (though it'll happen), communities around smaller water sources will see salinity rise and will eventually kill off aquatic life, like within the lifespan of people currently born. Other ice melters aren't great for water either, but often you have to use less to make it work, and some use stuff that isn't salt which is more waterway-friendly. The salt slush in cheap melter can also be hard on animals.

Fancy ice melters usually use less salt (chloride based molecules, including ones that aren't rock salt and work in colder temperatures), and more non-salts. Some use some urea (not exactly perfect either, though generally plant safe it's bad for waterways), acetates (easier on plants), etc. They tend to work better, and cost more, and be easier on plants, roads, metal, pets and waterways than rock salt. You also need less.

An even better trick is to put the melt down before the snow falls (it prevents surface bonding, which makes it work a lot better), using a smaller amount (often people use too much), or even not using a melter at all and using a grit instead, like sand, wood ash, etc that provides traction without you needing to melt the ice.

I bought Alaskan Ice and it's great - works well, easy to apply, I use it sparingly.

Great points, this winter has been good so far out here in South-Western Ontario.

Shoveling as often as possible before walking/driving over it helps reduce the need for melters/salt.

Also I only tend to use the melter when and wherever I see ice, rather than putting it down blindly.

I manage to get through with just 1x 22KG bag/winter of Alaskan Ice Melter and have a spotless driveway. It takes more effort but I shovel before work and after work during weekdays.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 22, 2005
3458 posts
2565 upvotes
Ottawa
To me using rock salt is like using liquid corn syrup instead of sugar and only under absolutely necessary conditions when you have no other alternatives.
Deal Addict
Nov 11, 2004
1496 posts
271 upvotes
Woodbridge
Thanks. Grabbed a 20kg bag at the jane and hwy 7 location. It’s in front of the entrance (outside), and the price doesn’t reflect the sale, but it scans at the sale price mentioned here. I saw lots of 10 and 20 kg bags, didn’t see other sizes. Also, in store, there’s a sign that says 30% off all ice melters
Member
User avatar
Jun 2, 2007
345 posts
258 upvotes
Markham
grumble wrote: I bought Alaskan Ice and it's great - works well, easy to apply, I use it sparingly.
Alaskan seems to damage cement surface on porches tho
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Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2017
791 posts
703 upvotes
West GTA
psyh wrote: Alaskan seems to damage cement surface on porches tho
All ice melters will damage cement, it's just how much they'll damage it. Alaskan damages cement less than this rock salt does. The trick is to use it sparingly (only when you have to, and as little as possible), when it turns to slush to scrape it off with a shovel and not leave it to soak the cement in brine, and possibly to seal the cement when the weather's warmer, which should help with reducing the water and brine penetration that can cause spalling, cracking and other damage.
Newbie
Oct 16, 2016
21 posts
64 upvotes
Lowe's also has the 88lb bags for $9.99.
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