Are you using the right salt for your driveway or sidewalk?

The type of salt or ice melter you choose to spread over your sidewalk and driveway can make a huge difference in terms of effectiveness in safety.

There are different types of salt for different cold weather conditions, according to Dan Beck, general manager of Greive Hardware in Dayton.

“Rock salt. Potassium chloride. Calcium chloride. They all melt to different temperatures,” Beck told News Center 7’s Gabrielle Enright.

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Prior to buying salt, Beck suggests consumers should know the temperature of the incoming conditions.

“Regular rock salt melts to 5 degrees,” Beck said. “This is a blend. It’s 7 (degrees) … calcium chloride can be 25 below.”

The lower the temperature, the better it is for your concrete. Beck says the lower temperature salt doesn’t refreeze.

“When it refreezes, it soaks into the concrete and freezes again. That’s what breaks up your concrete.”

At the same time, the salt that’s best for your concrete is harsh on your skin and your pets.

“The calcium chloride works the best outside but you can’t touch it with your bare hands,” Beck said.

“You also don’t want your pets paws to come in contact with it because it will irritate their paws and dry out their skin as well.”

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Numerous stores in the Miami Valley are almost out of salt but several places will get another shipment before the storm Friday.

Although rock salt is the cheapest and easiest option, if the winter conditions are extreme then it just won’t work.

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