Rock salt or sodium chloride is one of the best de-icing products that can be used throughout the winter. Many snowplow contractors buy the salt in bulk to prepare their teams and ensure they have enough supply to maintain their workload. So, it is essential to determine how much you’ll need to avoid wasting.
Factors that determine your salt measurements
Take into consideration these top factors when measuring, ordering, and preparing for bulk road salt application.
Understanding and predicting local weather patterns
The amount of bulk salt purchased depends on the expected snowfall. Calculate the expected precipitation based on the previous year’s snowfall. It may need to be more accurate, but you will get a rough figure.
Weather conditions being treated
The amount of salt needed is also determined by whether you are trying to remove snow, ice, or frost. For frost, only a small amount of salt is necessary. When temperatures are too low, more salt is needed.
Pavement, asphalt, concrete temperature
If the temperature of the pavement is too low, then de-icing products with lower operating temperatures and sand/salt combinations may be necessary. Rock salt melts at -15 degrees Celsius, whereas calcium chloride melts at -31.67 degrees Celsius.
Correct usage and applications
Careful and correct usage and application of the de-icing product are necessary to prevent waste. In order to do this, proper landscaping supplies and skilled workers are required. It is also essential to carefully read the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
The right material- road salt, brine, sand, treated salt
The condition of the pavement determines the right combination of road salt and other compounds like abrasives. Brine is essentially salt dissolved in water. Other than sodium chloride, compounds like calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride can also be used to clear roads.
Salt and sand combination
An abrasive like sand is added to salt to reduce the use of the freeze point depressant and create traction, primarily due to economic aspects. This is also done when the temperature of the pavement is too low. When salt and sand are combined, the salt content shouldn’t be more than 3–5% of the total volume.
Residual chemicals on the pave/concrete/asphalt
Less salt is required when there is chemical residue on the pavement. It is critical to monitor the level of these chemicals to determine whether additional de-icing products need to be applied.
Surface area and location
Usually, a scoop of salt is enough for each square meter. The salt should be spread evenly on the surface to maximize its effectiveness. So, more salt is needed for larger surfaces. The location is also essential. If grass or similar components can be damaged by chemicals, use gentler products sparingly.
Bulk salt must be stored in a location where temperatures will not go below freezing to maintain its effectiveness. Additionally, they must be protected from all moisture exposure. It should ideally be kept off the ground. You can also seal it inside airtight containers.
De-icing the roadways is vital for providing a safe commute. As a contractor, stocking up on de-icing products is recommended to ensure you and your team are prepared and your contracts are well maintained. Contact FSI Landscape Supply today for more information on road salt and de-icing products.