Snow Removal and Ice melt is in great shortage this season country wide. We have plenty luckily. I drive my loader inside to get soft sand and mix with calcium chloride in the heated building. Only way to guarantee quality during extreme cold. Calcium and sand provide both ice melting and slip control/traction without the harm to asphalt and concrete that salt causes. The big black truck/sander is one of the rigs we use to apply this material. For more information Springfield Drainage & Landscaping
In many parts of North America, building owners and managers are legally required to place ice melt compounds not only on immediate building entries but on nearby walkways and sidewalks as well. Typically, they turn to their janintorial and sanitation distributors and cleaning professionals to select the proper compounds to use and install at their facilities to promote safety and minimize their impact on floors, carpets, and the environment.
Because there are literally dozens of ice-melt compounds available and how they are used and installed can vary, this can prove to be a more difficult task than initially believed. The following is an overview of what these products are, how they work, and how to use them safely and effectively.
Snow Removal and Ice-melt compounds are minerals that effectively reduce the freezing point of water. This is why they are used on walking surfaces during cold and adverse weather. They do this by attracting moisture to form brine, a high-salinity solution that generates heat, helping to melt the ice. Once this brine is formed, it spreads out over the surface and also helps break the bond between the ice and the surface, allowing it to be more easily removed.
Although there are many types of ice melts made by a variety of
Sodium chloride. Also known as rock salt, this is the most commonly used type of ice melt. However, ironically, it has limited effectiveness in extreme cold below 20°F. It can also be corrosive to steel, certain building materials, and concrete sidewalks, as well as damaging to nearby vegetation.manufacturers, the active ingredients in most of these products are typically a combination of the following ingredients along with sand and clay to help promote foot traction:
- Calcium chloride. Similar to sodium chloride but more effective, calcium chloride removes moisture from the air and can work at extremely low temperatures, down to -25°F. However, it generally is more expensive than sodium chloride and also can damage nearby vegetation.
- Magnesium chloride. Comparable to calcium chloride, this compound is less corrosive and far safer to nearby vegetation.
- Potassium chloride. Although many fertilizers contain potassium chloride, when used as an ice melt, it is not necessarily safe for vegetation. The high concentration of potassium chloride makes it harmful to plants but effective at preventing ice buildup on walking surfaces. It is also less corrosive than some of the other ice-melt compounds already mentioned.
By Bill Funk of Springfield Drainage & Landscaping