The Best Material To Use For Highway Deicing

During the winter season, millions of people will take to the road, whether it’s to travel to their job, visit local relatives, or travel across the country to see long-distance loved ones. Unfortunately, highways often form a layer of ice after a winter storm. This creates an extremely dangerous situation for drivers.

In order to keep our highways safe when they’ve become iced over, it’s important to treat them with ice-melting material so that drivers can enjoy the road without the fear of sliding across ice and crashing. But, what material do we think is best for highway deicing? Let’s give you a quick rundown so you know exactly where we stand.

Dangers of an Icy Highway

Every year, there seems to be at least a dozen new videos that crop up online showing automobiles sliding across icy roads and slamming into other vehicles, trees, and basically any object that will stop them. While these videos can seem funny at first glance, the reality is that injuries and accidents occur at alarming rates every time the winter season hits because of ice on the highway.

When highways are covered in ice and not properly treated with ice-melting materials, drivers can easily lose control because of the loss of traction until they’ve crashed into another object, which is usually a second automobile. Even if there’s only a small, two-car fender bender, this will often lead to more crashes as other drivers are forced to stop or turn quickly. This is why it is essential that all highways be treated with rock salt immediately following a winter storm.

The Popularity of Rock Salt

The material that you use for highway deicing is very important. Although there are a few different ice melting materials on the market, rock salt continues to be the most popular of them all. Here are a few reasons why:

Easy to Use

The greatest thing about rock salt is that it is incredibly easy to use. Once the amount that you need has been calculated, which we have covered several times in the past and will certainly talk about again, spreading the material becomes a simple matter. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions or get assistance from a professional in the industry.


There are premium ice melting materials on the market that are effective, but they can cost too much for many projects, especially when it comes to something as big as highway deicing. Rock salt can be purchased in bulk, which his great since you’re probably going to need tons of it to effectively treat any size highway after a winter storm. The bottom line is that rock salt is more affordable than other types of ice melting materials.

Simple Storage

Another reason why so many people use rock salt for all of their deicing needs is the fact that any excess left over after the season can be stored away for the following season. Storage is relatively easy, which we will discuss in more detail below. Because of this ability to store rock salt easily and conveniently, you never have to worry about it going to waste.

Using Other Materials for Highway Deicing

If you run into a rock salt shortage or simply want to use a different type of product, there are premium ice melt materials that are designed to do the same job. However, keep in mind that, as explained above, these types of materials are often more expensive than rock salt and may not be the best solution for your needs. If you’re in doubt, it’s always best to speak to an industry professional who can explain the differences and benefits of each type of material, so that you can make a well-informed decision.

Properly Storing Rock Salt

If you’re worried about ordering too much rock salt, then we can put your fears to rest right now. One of the greatest things about rock salt is that storage is quite simple. Basically, there are two rules of thumb that you will need to follow.

Rule #1: Avoid Exposure to Moisture

First, you must make sure that all of the rock salt is kept in a sealed container that prevents moisture from getting inside. This is because moisture is what activates rock salt, so any exposure will ruin the material upon contact, rendering it useless. Luckily, sealed containers are easily to come by and there’s no need to get anything too fancy. That is, as long as you also follow the second rule outlined below.

Rule #2: Avoid Temperatures Below Freezing

The second thing to remember is that no matter how great the container is, you need to ensure that the temperature doesn’t drop below freezing, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops lower than freezing, the rock salt will clump together and will either be more difficult to work with or become unusable.

These two rules of thumb are all you need to know in order to successfully store any rock salt that’s left over after the winter season concludes. As long as you can avoid exposure to moisture and keep the temperature above freezing, then you can store rock salt for years. That makes rock salt extremely easy to deal with, which is a big reason why people love it.

Buying Rock Salt in NJ

Whether you’re in the market for rock salt or another material for your home or business, Braen Stone can advise you of the best types to choose and then deliver those materials directly to you. For several years, our experts have delivered so many tons of rock salt and other products that we have lost count. Our competitive prices and superb customer service has kept our customers returning year after year in New Jersey, New York, eastern Pennsylvania, and southern Connecticut.

If you have any questions about highway deicing, purchasing rock salt and other materials in bulk, or advice concerning the usage of any of our products, don’t hesitate to contact our professionals.

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By | 2020-03-31T12:54:49-04:00 December 10th, 2018|Rock Salt|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dirk is a Project Manager at Braen Stone. He's an expert on a variety of construction materials and prides himself on helping the company meet the needs of companies large and small.