FIVE Factors Commercial Property Owners & Managers Must Know About De-Icing Parking Lots & Walkways

Commercial snow removal services must be fully educated about weather, temperature, and chemistry.

Not chemistry in the “hurt the Planet” way… but how things work when you add a dash of this and a pinch of that to Nature’s way.

This all may seem very professorial, but I can assure you… if you’re snow removal company doesn’t have an expert level with de-icing your commercial property… trouble looms.

Meaning, avoidable damage is created by improper snow & ice removal techniques.

Here’s what you need to know…

ONE: Timing De-Icing Applications is By Far the Most Important Factor

The sooner your snow removal service applies de-icing chemicals on your sidewalks and parking lots, the better off your community will be. The intention behind early applications is to create slush from freshly dropped snow.

At this point in the storm it’s easy to create slush which is approximately 30% water. Now, snow plows remove slush without leaving behind packed snow that eventually turns into dangerous ice-patches.

If your snow removal service doesn’t arrive before a large storm hits, they will not be able to take advantage of applying a de-icing pre-treatment to your commercial property, resulting in hazardous conditions.

TWO: How De-Icing Products are Applied… Matters!

Over the years studies have been conducted for many different de-icing products, and how to best apply them to roads and sidewalks. Interestingly, snow tends to melt much faster when salt is laid down in thin bands.

These studies show how the same amount of snow melts using a “strip” method of laying salt, resulting in lower costs and time to clear a roadway. Typically, salt is laid down in 2’ to 4’ down the center of the road.

Remember, salt lowers the freezing point to water… the ground, sun and air melts the snow.

On sunny days laying thin strips of salt down the middle of a road will help melt the majority of the street fast. As a result, snow plows can move-out slush quickly.

THREE: How All Storms are Not Created Equal; One-Size-Fits-All Snow & Ice Removal Doesn’t Exist

Spreading rates for snow storms on Long Island are determined by the length and volume of the snow coming down. As you already know, no two snowstorms or blizzards are the same… so having a one-size-fits-all de-icing application is doomed to fail from the start.

Some snow removers have reported; it’s best to spread about 200 pounds of salt for every single lane mile (give or take 100 pounds). But, we’re not talking about road lanes… rather your commercial parking lots.

In the case of parking lots, your snow removal company must understand how to convert these numbers into the best spreading rates for your property.

Additionally, your snow removal service must account for precipitation and accumulation… meaning, is the snow heavy and wet or light and dry… and how long is the storm actually going to last?

FOUR: Does Truck Speed Matter when Spreading Salt in Your Commercial Parking Lots?

When a salt truck is driving at speeds greater than 25 miles per hour, the salt tends to “roll” across the road, resulting in a wider application. The equipment used by your snow removal service will determine how well they apply salt.

As with all industries these days; the snow and ice industry has technology where the truck driver can rate the speed of the truck versus how much salt is being applied.

Depending on the settings for a particular storm, the driver can control waste and maximize time. These little details save commercial properties a small fortune in de-icing products, as well as better service.

FIVE: Little Known Technique Used By Professional Snow Removal Services

When applying salt to a snowy road, the main objective is to create a slushy brine. By ‘pre-wetting’ salt, achieving this brine state faster is a common trick used by the pros. In fact, it’s been reported that a cost savings for de-icing chemicals of 20% to 30% is common.

Not only does pre-wetting speed up the brine process, it prevents most of the salt from bouncing as it’s applied, thus keeping more on the road and doing its job. In the long run, this technique saves commercial properties tons of extra money on more salt through a multi-storm winter.

Lastly, the most common liquids used for ‘pre-wetting’ are salt-brine, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. These chemicals are usually applied from a salt truck with a sprayer.

Final Thoughts…

Your snow removal services company must be versed on these de-icing factors if you want professional, reliable, fast and cost savings snow and ice removal.

For questions regarding de-icing and snow removal overall contact Devon Creek for more insights into saving you time and money with your commercial properties.