With October coming to a swift close, snow and ice contractors need to start formulating plans to deal with winter storms. Snow and ice control can be a lucrative venture for any landscaper looking to make income over the winter. Applying ice melt properly can actually be challenging so we have compiled some tips on how to properly apply ice melt. These tips will save you labor and money in the long run.
One of the simplest ways to make ice melt more cost-effective is to mix chloride with sand. As long as the sand is abrasive, it will not decrease the traction. Another great thing about mixing sand with chloride ice melt is that it decreases damage to concrete. Chlorides can actually cause rusting, cracking, and deterioration of material that it comes in contact with.
The timing of ice melt applications matters as well. Applying a thin layer of it before a storm reduces the amount of ice that will freeze. You can apply another thin layer during the storm and this will reduce your overall salt usage. For heavy and wet snow, you’ll want to apply it as soon as the snow starts falling. When more than an inch of snow accumulates, shovel it and reapply the ice melt to prevent a layer of ice building up beneath the snow. When dealing with sleet and freezing rain, it is best to apply before the storm.
When purchasing ice melt, try to buy brands that have medium-sized granules. They bore through the surface better and maximize brine formation. This actually breaks up the ice allowing easy removal. Larger particles have a slower melting time and may not completely dissolve into the underlying brine layer. This leads to reduced melting inefficiency and increases costs.
The storage of ice melt can affect its efficiency as well. Ice melt should be stored in airtight containers and kept away from moisture, air, and sunlight. If any moisture gets into the bags, it will be absorbed and cause the product to degrade, clump, and harden. This renders it useless and you will probably just have to dispose of it. Your best bet is to store the melt in large plastic buckets with a secure lid.
Valley Green has several locations all over the northeast United States. Each of these will be carrying ice melt this winter for all your snow and ice control needs.