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Winter's Over: Here’s How to Store Your De-Icers Properly

Published April 19, 2024 by Hamilton Builders' Supply
Ground Level Closeup View Of Rock Salt Ice Melt On Concrete With Snow

Now that winter's over, it's time to think about storing your de-icing supplies. While it might be tempting to shove bags of rock salt or other de-icers into the back of the garage and forget about them until next year, proper storage is crucial. Here’s why:

The Science of Rock Salt

De-icers like rock salt, calcium chloride, and other mineral-based products are hygroscopic, meaning they attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. This characteristic makes them excellent for melting ice but also means they can easily absorb moisture from the air, leading to clumping, leakage, and reduced effectiveness.

Why Proper Storage is Essential

Storing your de-icers correctly ensures they remain effective for longer and are ready to use when the next winter storm hits. Moisture absorption not only leads to clumping but can also cause the de-icer to prematurely react, losing its ice-melting capabilities. Additionally, improperly stored de-icers can pose safety hazards, such as leaking onto floors and creating slippery surfaces or becoming accessible to children and pets.

Steps for Storing De-Icers

  1. Use Airtight Containers: Transfer de-icers from their original packaging into airtight containers. This step prevents moisture from seeping in and causing clumps.
  2. Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Keep your containers in an area that's both cool and dry to further protect against moisture. Basements, sheds, or garages can be ideal, provided they don’t get too damp or hot.
  3. Label Containers: Clearly label each container with its contents and the date of storage. This practice helps in identifying the de-icer type and monitoring its shelf life.
  4. Keep Away from Children and Pets: Ensure the storage location is out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion or contact with these potentially harmful materials.

Get the Supplies and Advice You Need

For Hamilton Builders' Supply customers, now is the perfect time to assess and replenish your winter supplies. If you find your de-icers are clumped or compromised, visit us for replacements and advice on products that best suit your needs. Our range includes environmentally friendly options and traditional de-icers, all designed to keep your driveways and walkways safe and ice-free next winter.