December 2, 2022
GREEN LIVING: Is salt the best choice on your icy walkway?

Dwelling within the north means coping with icy walkways and pavement round our houses and companies. Salt deicers are generally used to soften ice however have many drawbacks. You, or a employed service, could use salt as your first selection to make sure the protection of your employees, shoppers and prospects.

Nevertheless, salting is probably not your best option.

The overuse of salt can result in many points, reminiscent of inflicting corrosion of concrete, wooden and steel, inflicting irritation and harm to pets and wildlife, and damaging terrestrial aquatic ecosystems by growing sodium and chloride ranges in native lakes and streams.

By studying how and when to correctly apply salt and salt options we will help cut back our affect on our native atmosphere.

How Does Salt Work?

Salt lowers the freezing level of water. This causes ice to soften even when the temperature is under its regular freezing temperature.

The freezing level of water is 0°C. Due to this fact, when it reaches under that time, the bonds between the water molecules grows stronger and the molecules organize themselves in a crystalline construction, thereby creating ice. When it reaches above 0°C. the alternative occurs. The bonds grow to be weaker and the construction returns to fluid.

When rock salt is utilized to ice, it dissolves into sodium and chloride ions which loosen the bonds between the ice’s hydrogen ion thereby turning the ice again into water.

Nevertheless, as soon as the pavement temperature reaches under -12°C, common salt (NaCl) turns into a lot much less efficient.

How Are Our Roads Salted?

Within the winter months, the Metropolis makes use of each sand and salt (sodium chloride) to assist make winter journey safer for motorists and pedestrians. What we use will depend on the temperature and the kind of highway.

Solely 25 per cent of Better Sudbury’s roads are salted, which incorporates the usage of brine. The remaining 75 per cent are sanded.

When temperatures attain under –12°C, all roads are sanded and never salted.

Pre-treating a floor with a liquid brine helps rock salt adhere to the floor. This will increase its effectiveness whereas stopping extra salt from bouncing or blowing off the floor and migrating to undesirable areas.

With the usage of pre-treatments reminiscent of brine, we will cut back the quantity of fabric utilized by 75 per cent compared to solely making use of rock salt.

You could find out extra about Metropolis sand and salt use on the Metropolis’s web site right here and by watching the EarthCare Minute: EarthCare Minute – Winter Salt Administration (2022)

How you can Use Much less Salt

  • Restrict Hazard Potential
  • Shut unneeded areas (patios, overflow parking and walkways), however don’t impede emergency exits, accessibility ramps or entrances.
  • Show well being and security indicators to remind workers and guests of potential hazards.
  • Enhance Traction
  • Use an ice chipper to take away the ice or no less than roughen its floor.
  • Unfold sand, small gravel or volcanic mineral.
  • Use the Proper Quantity
  • Unfold smaller quantities of deicers. Individuals usually use an excessive amount of, which is pointless. Solely two tablespoons of salt is required per sq. metre.
  • When you spill or unintentionally use an excessive amount of salt, clear it up and save for one more time.
  • Keep correct and full data.
  • Use closed loop digital controllers slightly than handbook managed techniques.
  • Use Completely different Strategies
  • If greater than 1.25 centimetres of snow has gathered, it is best to shovel/plow previous to salting.
  • Use instruments like pavement temperature measurements to find out timing and charge of salt utility.
  • Use pre-wetting/brine utility methods to assist salt adhere and forestall snow from bonding to pavement.
  • Restrict Ice Formation
  • Shovel usually and don’t let snow or slush accumulate.
  • Direct roof runoff away from paved areas.
  • Pile snow in a decrease space near a storm sewer.
  • Restrict drifting snow through the use of snow fences or landscaping.
  • Repair any potholes and uneven areas to scale back pooling of water.
  • Take into account Salt Alternate options
  • Search for salt-free deicers that don’t comprise any chlorides, particularly sodium chloride.
  • Use acetate-based merchandise.

Issues to Take into account When Hiring Winter Upkeep Contractors

  • Rent a contractor that’s Sensible About Salt licensed.
  • Guarantee cost is predicated on the variety of snowfall occasions or per season and never tied to salt utilization.
  • Require a salt administration plan.

GREEN LIVING: Is salt the best choice on your icy walkway?

How you can Correctly Apply Salt

At all times keep in mind to shovel away snow earlier than it accumulates to assist forestall ice from forming within the first place. When you do discover there’s a buildup of ice, it’s all the time good to consider different options to salt. Take into consideration making use of traction aids reminiscent of pickled sand or crushed volcano minerals to extend traction and cut back the danger of slips and falls.

When you do need to use salt, first examine that the temperature is acceptable for efficient use of salt as it’s only efficient at temperatures above –12°C. If the temperature is acceptable for the usage of a deicer, solely use a small quantity and keep in mind that a 12-ounce cup of rock salt is sufficient salt to deal with an space of 10 sidewalk squares. That’s a 500 sq. foot/46.5 sq. metre space!

At all times consider methods to extend traction.


Take into account Sensible About Salt Coaching

When contemplating a winter administration firm, think about using firms with salt certification such because the Sensible About Salt Council coaching.

The Sensible About Salt Council (SASC) is a not-for-profit group that provides award-winning coaching and certification on winter upkeep in an environmentally aware method. As soon as a person has been skilled, their firm could select to grow to be licensed, which can be a requirement for property managers.

Extra details about the Sensible About Salt coaching might be discovered on the SASC webpage or on the Metropolis’s web site.