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Chicago Weather: Best Way To Melt All That Ice

By CBS 2 meteorologist Tammie Souza

Following back-to-back storms, the entire Chicago area has been left under several inches of snow and ice.  Now, Arctic air will settle across the region tonight plunging us to near zero with the coldest temperatures since last February.

Black ice becomes the problem on sidewalks, stairs, driveway and porches and with temperatures not expected to go above freezing for the next seven days that ice becomes dangerous if not treated.

Applying a thin layer of "Ice Melt" pellets or flakes is the best way to minimize the ice threat. What type of Ice Melt depends on the air temperature.

The most commonly used melt is rock salt, better known as sodium chloride. One pound can melt up to 46 pounds of ice. Unfortunately it is only effective to about 20 degrees and stops working below that temperature.  With our temperatures expected to be at or below zero the next few nights there are other options that will work better at such low temperatures.

In extreme cold experts recommend using either Calcium Chloride or Magnesium Chloride. Calcium chloride will melt ice down to -25 degrees and is the most gentle on walkways and surfaces.

Magnesium Chloride works well down to -10 degrees and works the fastest. It is also considered more environmentally friendly than the other two.

Remember to always keep any ice melt product away from children and pets and wipe off your pets paws after they walk through a treated area.

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