Why is Ice-Salting Necessary?

Nov 15, 2018 | Grounds Maintenance

Winter is just around the corner, and with winter, comes snow and ice. Although a white winterland might be aesthetically appealing, it is not very conducive for travelling to and from work and it is quite necessary to clear the snow and salt the ice during these times.

How does salting ice work?

Salt reduces the freezing point of water, which melts the ice and does not allow the fallen snow to freeze. Basically it is the same kind of salt used in kitchens, the only difference being the crystals which are larger.

Although common salt is the most widely used for ice-salting, it does not work efficiently below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Magnesium chloride or calcium chloride is required for these temperatures.

It should also be noted that snow and ice must be cleared as much as possible before salting so that the operation is more effective. Salt should also only be spread over ice, not snow. Snow is not slippery until it sets, so it is not necessary to salt snow-covered areas.

When should ice be salted?

Salting should be done either during the early mornings or late evenings, before vehicle and road traffic is substantial. This allows the salt to do it’s work before it is disturbed by people walking or cars driving over them. Ice getting inside buildings is also not conducive for the cleanliness of the floors, so it is something that should be considered.

Why should ice be salted?

Ice salting is necessary for various reasons, especially if the area is prone to snowfall.

1. It prevents slips and injuries

The fact that ice is slippery requires no reiteration. Hence the main reason for salting ice is so that people are safe while passing over frozen surfaces. As mentioned above, salt lowers the freezing point of ice, which melts the ice and does not allow any more ice to set on it.

However, if the temperature is too low for regular salt to work, a different salt might be required, or sand can be spread along with salt to provide traction for people walking or driving over the frozen surfaces.

2. It is convenient

Salting ice is a very convenient way to deal with frozen surfaces. The ice dissolves with the melted ice and flows away, although care must be taken not to spread the ice over places where vegetation grows, since salt reduces the fertility of soil.

It also prevents additional ice and snow from setting over cleared areas, reducing work for those that clear the roads.

3. It is easy to obtain

Common salt is the most widely used salt for salting ice, and it is very easily available. Although there are some chemicals that can be used in place of salt which are better for the environment, they are harder to obtain and can be more expensive.

Get your premises cleared of snow and salted during winter

innovatefm provides a comprehensive range of Ground Maintenance options, which also includes snow clearance and ice salting. Our teams are highly trained, professional, and can provide a high quality and value-for-money for you.

Give us a call on (0161) 724 8999 (option 1) or email us at enquiries@innovatefm.co.uk for more information.