In general, calcium chloride is regarded as the best concrete deicer available for multipurpose use including the removal of ice and snow from concrete sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots.
Of the commonly used deicers, calcium chloride is the only one that generates heat as it dissolves. This is called an exothermic reaction. The other deicers are endothermic, which means they must take in heat from the surrounding environment to dissolve.
Because of its exothermic properties, calcium chloride melts ice and snow faster whereas the endothermic properties of the other deicers result in much slower melting. It also has a greater capacity to attract and retain moisture from its surroundings enabling it to dissolve faster and start the melting process quicker.
Calcium chloride is effective at much lower temperatures than it sodium chloride (rock salt) counterpart. It can remain effective at temperatures as low as -59 degrees F. Because of this, calcium chloride creates fewer freeze and thaw cycles lessening the chances of damaging the concrete.
Since calcium chloride is more effecient, you don't need as much deicing material which saves time and money and makes it a much better choice economically.
Some deicers can be harmful to the environment and surrounding vegetation, especially rock salt. Calcium chloride, on the other hand, has a relatively low toxicity and can even be beneficial to soil as calcium plays an important role in many biological operations including photosynthesis.
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