SOUTHBURY NEWS

The Difference Between Calcium Chloride and Rock Salt

December 4, 2020

Both calcium chloride and rock salt are substances that melt ice and have a variety of other uses. Salt is also known as sodium chloride. These two products have several important differences; it's best to know the pros and cons before choosing one.

Effect

Calcium chloride dissolves ice more rapidly and often stops water from freezing. Faster removal could prevent a pedestrian from falling or reduce vehicle accidents. This substance also works better than rock salt when people want to suppress dust on unpaved surfaces.

Weather

When temperatures fall as low as negative 20 Fahrenheit, calcium chloride continues to serve its purpose. Rock salt performs well in moderately cold weather, but its melting power gradually weakens as the temperature drops. It has a minimal effect below 10 degrees.

Safety

Calcium chloride is somewhat safer for plants and animals. This substance is also less likely to cause pavement decay or make metal surfaces rust prematurely. Still, it's best for people and pets to minimize direct contact with both products.

Storage

Unlike rock salt, calcium chloride can liquefy when it comes in contact with humid air. This trait is desirable in some applications, but it necessitates greater care in selecting storage locations. It's crucial to tightly seal this substance and keep it in a dry place.

Cost

A downside of calcium-based products is that they cost more than the alternative. You may not need to use as much, especially under very cold conditions. The price difference is more significant if you're treating a large parking lot rather than a driveway.

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