Frequently asked questions on snow and ice management solutions
At FSI Landscape Supply, we support landscape professionals and snow plow contractors by providing a wide range of products to tackle the most challenging winters and the more mild winters. Regardless of the weather status, there is always a question or two regarding snow and ice management. Although we have stepped into the year 2022, for today’s blog, we at FSI Landscape Supply want to share the most frequently asked questions of winter 2021 regarding snow and ice management.
Does bulk road salt have an expiry date? What do I do with any left over salt?
Sodium chloride is a naturally existing essential mineral. Therefore, bulk road salt does not have an expiry date and does not lose its efficacy over time. Any de-icing salt left over can be used towards the next winter season, especially when stored safely and correctly. Or some snow plow contractors may choose to donate some left over salt supply to their local community centers, schools, and others in need.
What is the proper storage solution for bulk salt?
De-icing salt should be kept dry and in a proper confined container or area. If your bulk salt supply is stored outdoors, it should be kept on asphalt or concrete surface. The site should be well covered, and a material skirt will help prevent a significant amount of salt from escaping.
My bulk salt supply is clumping. What should I do?
Although more recent snow management equipment models have a hopper vibrator that breaks up clumped bulk road salt and assists with even spreading, it is always good to know a few other methods in the event of a salt clumping emergency. To prevent clumping, it is in your best interest to invest in a proper storage solution. Various weather conditions bring on moisture and humidity; both will negatively affect road salt. The only way to correct clumping is by breaking or crushing the pieces. A few landscaping supplies such as a hammer or pick should do the trick. A dirt crusher can accomplish the tedious job if a significant amount of de-icing salt has been affected. Small, clumped pieces of rock salt can be placed into a closed material sack and dropped on a hard surface.
What is treated salt?
Treated salt is your average road salt combined with various additives to enhance performance and durability. The benefits of using treated salt include its fast-acting attributes and minimal bounce rate. Saving time and money as less treated salt is required to cover the same area. Lastly, treated salt works in temperatures as low as -30°C. Snow plow contractors can use treated salt on various surfaces such as commercial parking lots, highways, sidewalks, and walkways.
What is an exothermic formula?
An exothermic de-icing agent or formula creates heat once applied to a surface.
What are a few de-icing products other than traditional bulk road salt, and what are the characteristics?
At FSI Landscape Supply, we offer various products to manage snow and ice. Our top sellers include Lake Effect Ice Melter, Sifto Xtreme Ice Melter, and Bulk Thawrox Treated Salt. Lake Effect Ice Melter is an exothermic formula. It creates heat once it is applied to a surface and is made to provide traction. Therefore, this product is perfect for maintaining commercial and residential sidewalks, walkways, and pathways. It is also essential to know that Lake Effect Ice Melter is made for low temperatures, easy spreading, and is tinted to prevent over-salting. Sifto Xtreme Ice Melter melts ice on contact by creating heat similar to Lake Effect Ice Melt. The reaction then turns into a brine solution which will prevent refreezing. The characteristics worth mentioning are the ability to work through -31C temperatures and its gentle effects on concrete. Bulk Thawrox Treated Salt provides the performance of both rock salt and liquid de-icing solution. The product adheres to roadway surfaces resulting in less bounce of salt material. Bulk Thawrox Salt performs well and lasts longer in -15C temperatures. It is an environmentally friendly product (labeled by the EPA) and is gentle on snow management equipment.
When is the best time to order bulk road salt?
It is never too early to order road salt in bulk. Pre-ordering your bulk road salt supply will always benefit your snow management business. There is a good chance you will be guaranteed a supply by placing an order ahead of winter’s schedule. Therefore, stay organized and avoid the seasonal rush or “out of stock” predicament.
What is the best defense against black ice?
Black ice forms when snow or rain melts and then refreezes into a transparent sheet of ice invisible to the naked eye. The best approach is an application of de-icing salt and a generous application of sand to assist with traction.
What is the best snow and ice management solution for concrete?
At FSI Landscape Supply, we are familiar with conversations regarding the impacts of de-icing agents on concrete. We at FSI considered this matter and wanted to carry a product that is safe to use on concrete surfaces. Sifto Extreme Ice Melter is safe to use on concrete. In addition to using concrete-safe snow and ice melting products, we recommend removing a significant amount of snow and ice before treating the area. Do not allow snow or ice to pile up, as this will create a thermal shock.
At FSI Landscape Supply, we take care of all your snow and ice management solutions, including various landscaping supplies, no matter the season. Contact us today for more information!