Road Salt: Salt For Driveways

What is the best road salt for driveways? This can be a difficult question to answer, since there is a variety of deicing products available for different needs, for industries and homes alike. Ultimately, the best salt is going to be the safest and most efficient for protecting people as well as property. Believe it or not, choosing an appropriate type of road salt could be the difference between a safe driveway and careening into oncoming traffic. Remember that the purpose of spreading salt is twofold: First, salt for driveways lowers the melting point of water, and decreases the time needed to melt ice. Second, the road salt itself will increase the traction of the driveway surface.

Many of those seeking salt for driveways believe that “salt is salt,” but we’ll see shortly that some forms of salt are better than others for use on roads and in other transit and safety applications. In fact, most salt use across the globe is accounted for by road safety and deicing purposes in the coldest areas, and not for consumption by humans or animals. In the US alone, over 40% of salt consumption is used for transportation safety purposes. Mixing a relatively small amount of salt with water will effectively lower the freezing point of any surface where it is spread, explaining the widespread use of salt for driveways.

Economy And Deicing Materials related to road salt

Economy is an important issue when choosing the right rock salt. New consumer information suggests that calcium choloride is preferable to salt for many deicing projects. However, calcium chlorides costs 8-10 times as much as widely available salt for driveways. This cost difference usually outweighs any perceived benefit in replacing road salt, or salt for driveways, with calcium chloride. The issue of economy is obviously important for homeowners as well as industries. Both will be concerned with the bottom line, and some homes and businesses waste dollars using an expensive and over-hyped product. For example, many businesses use calcium chloride under the impression that it is more “green” than salt, while some homeowners even spread costly fertilizer instead of reliable and inexpensive road salt. If road salt is used safely, according to manufacturer guidelines, it is not any less friendly to the environement than products like calcium chloride.

Conclusion about best road salt

The best salt for driveways balances the needs of the home or industry environment with basic economy. There’s no reason to completely discount alternatives to road salt or rock salt for driveways, but keep in mind that new products also mean unexplained industrial practices, whereas those practices needed to manufacture rock salt are basically transparent and friendly to the environment and consumers alike.

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