How can I use de-icing compounds safely and effectively, while providing for long term structure maintenance?

4 years ago by in Operations

All deicing compounds, including road salt, do not work in extremely cold temperatures. Sand can be broadcast over icy surfaces to improve traction when deicing agents are ineffective. The use of sand may require additional sweeping and cleaning maintenance.

Minimize the use of de-icing chemicals during the first two years of concrete curing. Properly designed, air-entrained and cured concrete is required to provide a durable concrete structural system, but concrete curing is an ongoing process. During this initial two-year time period, it is recommended to follow methods 1 & 6 only as noted below.

After the first two years of concrete curing, de-icing agents may be used as indicated below. There are also anti-icing agents such as Potassium Acetate available on the market which may be utilized in preparation for an upcoming snow/ice event. Anti-icing agents will prevent adhesion of snow/ice to concrete.

Recommended de-icing measures, in order of decreasing preference, are:

  1. Clean, plow, scrape off ice and snow. Use no de-icing agents.
  2. Sodium Acetate (NAAC).
  3. Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA).
  4. Potassium Acetate (KAC).
  5. Prilled Urea (granular, chemically coated with a derivative of formaldehyde).
  6. Use sand to increase traction. When washing down, place burlap or stray filters over floor drains to keep sand out of drainage systems.
  7. Never use Ammonium Nitrate, Ammonium Sulfate, Calcium Chloride or Sodium Chloride.

*Federal, State, and Local codes govern most of these requirements and should be thoroughly investigated. Data presented herein should be considered guidelines only.  For more specific information and assistance with implementation of these guidelines, please contact TimHaahs via email at