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How to Reduce Corrosion from De-Icing

How to Reduce Corrosion from De-Icing

Justin Rollin

De-icing is a vital winter maintenance practice, but it can come at a cost – corrosion of infrastructure, like concrete and metal, and environmental harm. Whether you're using liquid de-icers or considering the advantages of bulk treated rock salt, it's essential to strike a balance between effective ice control and minimizing the impact on infrastructure and the environment. 

In this blog post, we'll explore practical strategies and solutions that allow you to combat ice and snow effectively while preserving the longevity of your assets and promoting environmental responsibility.

What Is Corrosion?

What Is Corrosion?

Corrosion, in the context of de-icing, refers to the gradual deterioration of metals and materials caused by exposure to de-icing chemicals, such as rock salt or other chloride-based compounds. When these chemicals come into contact with metal or concrete surfaces, they can initiate a chemical reaction that leads to the breakdown of the material over time. Corrosion compromises the structural integrity and aesthetic appearance of equipment, bridges, vehicles, buildings, and other infrastructure, necessitating the implementation of corrosion prevention measures in de-icing practices.

What’s Affected by De-Icing?

From infrastructure and vehicles to vegetation and water sources, the use of de-icing agents can introduce corrosive elements and impact different environments if not used properly.

Road and Commercial Property Infrastructure

De-icing roads, parking lots, and other commercial property infrastructure can lead to various types of corrosion to surfaces like concrete and asphalt, but also to infrastructure like bridges and buildings. One common form of corrosion is general corrosion, which occurs uniformly across the surface, gradually weakening the surface. Another type is pitting corrosion, characterized by small pits or holes that develop due to localized chemical reactions. 



A common issue for vehicles is galvanic corrosion, which occurs when different metals come into contact, accelerating the corrosion process. Another type is cosmetic corrosion, where the vehicle's paint and clear coat can be damaged by the de-icing chemicals, leading to blemishes and discoloration. Additionally, calcium chloride, a common de-icing agent, is extremely hard on metal surfaces and can contribute to rusting and corrosion.

Vegetation and Wildlife

De-icing agents, such as sodium chloride and calcium chloride, can have an impact on roadside vegetation and wildlife. One common effect is saltwater intrusion into soil, which can disrupt the balance of nutrients and hinder plant growth. Additionally, roadside vegetation can experience stress and damage from de-icing chemicals, leading to wilted or discolored foliage. Wildlife can also be affected by the presence of these chemicals, as their habitats may be contaminated and ingestion is dangerous if you’re using certain de-icers.

Water Pollution

When de-icing chemicals, such as chloride-based compounds, are applied to roads, they can dissolve into runoff water and infiltrate nearby water sources. This chemical-laden runoff can result in corrosion in water infrastructure, such as pipes and tanks. Additionally, it can have detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems by affecting water quality and harming aquatic organisms.

Looking for More Sustainable De-Icer Options?

Looking for More Sustainable De-Icer Options?

Explore more sustainable de-icer options with Ninja De-Icer’s range of enhanced de-icing products (both liquid and granule). Elevate winter safety while being environmentally responsible.

Explore Our Products

Ways to Minimize Harm from De-Icing Materials

Minimizing harm from de-icing materials is essential for both environmental and public health reasons. 

Here are some key ways to achieve this:

  • Pre-treatment planning: Plan ahead by pre-treating roads and surfaces before a snow or ice event occurs. This can reduce the overall amount of de-icer needed during and after the event;
  • Use de-icer responsibly: Applying de-icers judiciously and only when necessary helps control the amount of these chemicals introduced into the environment. Avoid excessive use, especially in areas with high pedestrian traffic;
  • Calibrate equipment: Making sure your spreaders and sprayers are calibrated will ensure that you are applying the correct amount of product and not unnecessarily over applying;
  • Regular vehicle washing: Regularly wash your vehicles during the winter season to remove salt and de-icing residue from the exteriors;
  • Eco-friendly de-icers: Explore and use more eco-friendly de-icing alternatives that have fewer harmful components and lower environmental impact.

Less Corrosive Products to Choose

Explore some de-icing product options that have corrosion inhibitors added to the product to help reduce the damage from corrosion. 

Lightning Fast Ice Melter

Lightning Fast Ice Melter

This innovative ice melt product is designed for superior performance even in the harshest conditions, melting ice effectively down to -20°F. Its unique composition includes sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, a corrosion inhibitor, and a proprietary blend. This product comes in a variety of sizes including as bulk treated salt, in 50 lb bags, 25 lb bags, or 12 lb shaker jugs.  With its aqua color and pet-safe formula, it's your go-to solution to prevent slips and falls around your business premises.

IceBan® Treated Salt

IceBan® Treated Salt is an exceptional choice for effective snow and ice management. This unique blend of sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, and YPS is dyed blue for easy application and stands as the original organic corrosion-inhibited solution. With its remarkable effectiveness down to -10°F and environmentally friendly properties, IceBan® not only improves traditional salt efficiency but also ensures a safer and more sustainable approach to winter management.

Headwaters® HOT Brine

Headwaters® HOT Brine is a game-changer in the world of enhanced liquid de-icers. It combines salt brine with the innovative Headwaters® HOT liquid additive, creating a potent, eco-friendly liquid de-icer that maintains the cost-effectiveness of regular salt brine. This powerful solution can melt up to 57% more ice at 0°F than straight brine alone, meaning you'll need up to 30% less product compared to traditional salt brine for the same results. Plus, it's non-corrosive, reducing damage to vehicles, equipment, and infrastructure by over 70%. Say goodbye to icy troubles with Headwaters® HOT Brine.

Make the Switch to Corrosion-Resistant De-Icing

Minimizing corrosion caused by de-icing is essential for protecting infrastructure and the environment. Opting for less corrosive alternatives is by far the best solution for combatting this issue. 

A trusted supplier across the Midwest and beyond, Ninja De-Icer offers effective de-icing solutions that prioritize safety and sustainability. So, if you're looking to safeguard your assets and reduce environmental impact, don't hesitate to reach out to Ninja De-Icer to get a quote today.