Winter conditions highlight the need for preparation, the application of salts and ice melts and the need for snow management products to ensure the safety of staff, customers, business continuity and essential services are maintained.
Simply spending a little time to consider the type of applicator and material to use can save a great deal of time in application, and make public areas safe and well maintained during cold and extreme weather conditions.
To keep drives, paths, entrances and car parks clear of ice, a de-icer is required, with rock salt being the most commonly used.
Rock salt is generally brown in colour and mined in the UK. It works by reducing the freezing point of water on surfaces. Salts ideally need to be applied prior to the onset of freezing, as a saline solution is required before the salt is effective. When weather forecasts predict below freezing temperatures, spreading should commencing late afternoon for best effective.
The spreading of rock salt can be frustrating. The combination of the properties of salt, generally inconsistent particle size and potentially high moisture content, and the type of spreader used can make spreading difficult.
Dry, free flowing and consistent particle sized material can be spread through a wide variety of spreaders however; some spreaders are specifically designed to handle rock salt better than others. Brown rock salt tends to leave a brown residue which can be walked into reception areas, causing unsightly and damaging corrosive effects.
An alternative to brown road salt is processed white salts that are generally imported and derived from sea water. These salts tend to be easier to spread due to their purity, providing the white appearance, much like table salt, a low moisture content and a more uniform particle size.
White processed salts can be spread with a variety of spreaders to effectively control ice formation, and have the added benefit of leaving a white residue rather than the brown of rock salt.
Ice melts are designed and manufactured for effective performance at a greater range of temperatures, and are fine granular materials that can be spread easily and accurately.
Ice melts are easy to handle in both granular and liquid form, providing a non-corrosive option, ideal for corrosion sensitive areas and where appearance matters. Accurate spreading means these materials can be very cost effective in use, especially with the benefits associated with the products.
Liquid ice melts can sprayed through knapsack, hand held or pedestrian sprayers specifically designed for the purpose, making application very easy.
If snow has accumulated, then best practice is to remove the snow before applying any salt or ice melt, as the effectiveness of salt to melt snow is very slow and limited. For speed and efficiency, use specifically manufactured snow equipment like the pedestrian snow ploughs and snow shovels that are designed to make the job easier, less strenuous and quicker to keep areas clear of snow and ice.
To ensure your business is prepared, this winter checklist provides a guide to the products ideal to keep you prepared for next winter.
Top Tips for Winter Snow and Ice Control
– When purchasing, match spreaders and materials for easier application
– Always use dry, free flowing, uniform materials
– Apply salts and de-icers prior to onset of frost
– Clear snow before applying salts and de-icers
– Keep salt dry – use water tight grit bins
– Use snow clearing tools for ease and comfort
– Keep areas clear of snow and ice to keep staff and customers safe
Marcus Palmer, Managing Director, DMMP Ltd.