Anti-Icing: How to Use this Technique Properly Anti-Icing: How to Use this Technique Properly

Anti-icing products contain various chemicals that delay the formation of new layers of ice for several hours. Many people mistakenly believe that applying anti-icing chemicals will instantly melt the snow. In fact, these solutions only help in preventing the ice, and you will still need to remove the ice and snow. It’s important to know how the anti-icing solutions work and how to apply them properly.

Apply Deicer

Prior to applying the anti-icing solution, there are a few steps that you shouldn’t skip. Failing to perform certain steps may make the anti-icing solution ineffective.

Firstly, you should apply deicer on the surface first and allow this solution to work. The deicer you use may contain calcium chloride, sodium chloride or other chemicals that will help melt the ice. In extreme temperatures, you should use a solution that contains calcium chloride, as salt water may freeze when the temperature gets colder than -18 degrees Celsius. Potassium chloride deicers may be used in warmer winters, as this chemical won’t cause as much damage to soil and vegetation as other chemicals. The deicer will not melt the ice and snow completely, so you will need to remove the snow as well.

Remove Snow

It’s important to remove the snow a few minutes after you applied deicer liquid. You cannot apply anti-icing solution directly onto the snow or ice. Use a shovel, plow or a snow blower to get rid of the snow and ice.

Apply the Anti-Icing Solution

The anti-icing fluid may contain several organic and inorganic chemicals (e.g. magnesium chloride), which will form a viscous protective layer on the surface they are applied on. The viscous solution will absorb the contaminant, preventing freezing for a number of hours. Each anti-icing solution is different and may protect the surface for a few hours up to a half a day, depending on the weather conditions, the outside temperature and the chemicals in the anti-icing solution.

You may apply anti-icing solution on smaller surfaces, such as your windshield or bike lock, or larger areas, such as your walkway or porch.

Use a Proper Amount of Chemicals

Many people think that applying a lot of anti-icing chemicals will make the product more efficient and longer lasting. In fact, you have to use a minimum amount of chemicals to form a viscous protective layer. Using more will result in possible damage to the surface.

Choosing an Anti-Icing Solution

When choosing the anti icing solution, you should consider several factors including the following:

  • The deicer you uses so that the deicer and the anti icing solution won’t react and interfere with each other.
  • The temperatures expected, as some solutions may be more effective when temperatures are above salt water's freezing point (-18 degrees Celsius).
  • The size of surface the solution will be applied on.

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