Own An Apartment Complex? 4 Advantages Of Chemically Deicing Your Sidewalks & Walkways Instead Of Salting Them

If you own or manage an apartment complex, then you know how important it is to keep your outdoor complex walkways and sidewalks free from ice during the winter. Of course, if a resident were to slip and fall on an icy walkway, you would likely be liable for any injuries that occur to them if they were to sue your company. However, you may not realize how many sidewalk and walkway deicing options you have. 

If you currently use only rock salt to keep your grounds ice-free during the winter, then read on to learn about the advantages of switching to chemical deicing agents. 

1. Chemical Deicers Work at Lower Temperatures Than Rock Salt

Since rock salt can only melt ice after pulling heat from the air due to being endothermic, that means that, the colder it is outside, the longer it takes for the salt to melt the ice. However, when outdoor temperatures reach just 20 degrees F or lower, rock salt become relatively ineffective at melting ice at all due to the very little heat in the air available to it. 

When switching to the right chemical deicing agent, such as one that contains calcium chloride or magnesium chloride, you can look forward to the ice on your sidewalks melting promptly, even when temperatures drop very low. 

In fact, magnesium chloride can melt ice quickly when temperatures are 5 degrees F or higher, and calcium chloride is very effective when temperatures are as low as -20 degrees F. 

If local temperatures reach below 20 degrees F in your area regularly or even on occasion, then switching to a chemical deicing agent can keep your sidewalks safer for your residents during the winter. 

2. Pre-Treating Walkways with Some Chemical Deicing Agents Can Prevent Ice Formation 

While it is possible to pre-treat sidewalks with rock salt before a storm, it is typically relatively ineffective at preventing ice formation. While pre-treating sidewalks and walkways with chemical deicers before a snowstorm will likely not completely keep ice and snow from accumulating on the walkways, it can prevent some initial ice from forming and/or melt some early snowfall. 

In fact, pre-treating sidewalks with a chemical deicing agent is considered the best way to prevent the formation of black ice. 

3. Chemical Deicers Don't Create the Mess That Rock Salt Does

If you have been using rock salt to keep your apartment complex sidewalks and walkways free of ice and snow for years, then you have likely grown tired of the mess it creates outside that must be cleaned up frequently. However, you and your residents are likely even more tired of the mess it can create indoors when it is tracked inside; when using rock salt, your cleaning staff likely has to remove white residue from the carpets of your common areas all winter long and your residents likely have to remove it from the carpeting in their units, as well. 

When you switch from rock salt to a liquid deicing agent, you can look forward to a reduction or even complete eradication of (depending on the product you choose) the white powdery mess that typically ends up all over your apartment grounds and inside your complex every winter. 

4. Chemical Deicers are Not as Corrosive to Metals 

Since rock salt is extremely corrosive to metals, any salt that ends up on metal objects close to your sidewalks and walkways, such as metal railings and/or lampposts, may experience salt damage frequently. In addition, any salt that comes into contact with your residents' vehicles can damage their metal components. 

When you switch from rock salt to a chemical deicer, you can protect metal components of your apartment grounds and reduce the chances of corrosive rock salt damaging your tenants' belongings. 

If you own or manage an apartment complex and still cover your icy walkways and sidewalks with rock salt every winter, then realize that there are many advantages to switching to chemical deicing agents. Contact companies like GMCO Corporation for more information.