Using rock salt, also known as sodium chloride, for snow and ice removal introduces dissolved foreign particles in the liquid, which boosts the colligative property of the water and lowers the freezing temperature below 32 degrees. This allows ice to continue to melt while preventing ice from forming. Rock salt works best when temperatures are at least 15 degrees but work down to about negative nine degrees. Rock salt is the most common substance used for commercial ice control in Denver.
Calcium chloride, an inorganic salt, is best for ice control when Denver’s temperatures really dip, since they are effective down to about negative 25 degrees. It is more expensive than rock salt, but performs well at temperatures far below what rock salt can handle. For snow and ice dam removal it comes in small, white spheres a few millimeters in diameter called “prills.” As a snow and ice removal tool, they depress the freezing point of water, quickly turning existing ice and snow to water while not allowing it to refreeze.
Years of Experience