Advice on how to optimize snow and ice removal this year!
As with anything in our industry, the sheer plethora of information can leave even the brightest confused and stuck in a state of analysis paralysis. Some may even be thinking that it’s not worth the time to think about ice melt. Previous practices have worked ok so there’s no need to change or consider alternatives. Before you make any decisions this year, review these Do’s and Don’ts to prepare for a successful season.
Scenario #1: Not Using It – Budgets are tight. We’re all trying to cut back on non-necessities. Ice Melt shouldn’t be one of these. There’s nothing like a slip and fall accident to throw your budget out of whack. Some of you may be thinking that as long as walkways and parking lots are shoveled, there’s no danger. In reality, it’s not the snow itself that causes accidents. Accidents are caused by wet shoes, freeze and thaw cycles, black ice, and more. Most of which can be curbed through an effective ice melt program and the use of proper entrance matting. Ice melt should be used on days where we receive a light dusting of snow as well as on days where we’re hit with a major storm.
Scenario #2: Using Too Much – I’m sure we’ve all seen it. You walk up to the building and there’s so much ice melt on the sidewalk that you feel like you’re walking on gravel. Once you enter the building, you find ice melt residue everywhere. It’s on the carpeting, imbedded in the entrance matting, and all over your floors leaving your finish with a whitish haze. Even those specialty ice melt removal detergents won’t touch this mess. It doesn’t have to be this way. All ice melt and rock salt bags list coverage information. Coverage varies greatly depending on the composition of the product and the manufacturer. Read your bags and know what coverage you should be getting out of the product you’re using. Inferno and Nitro have a coverage rate of 27,000 to 30,000 square feet per bag. To put this into relative terms, one bag would cover 6.5 basketball courts (84′x50′). Both our Inferno and Nitro ice melts are blue in color whereas most magnesium chloride and calcium chloride alternatives are not. Colored ice melt makes a huge difference during the application process. Your staff will be able to see exactly where the pellets are going giving them confidence even when applying during a snow storm. In addition, building patrons know it’s been applied eliminating calls for the application of additional ice melt.
Scenario #3: Applying It Wrong – Does your current ice melt require gloves? How should it be stored? Is there a danger to vegetation or the water system? Can it be used on sidewalks less than a year old? When should the ice melt be applied: before the storm, during the storm, or after the storm? Can I treat my brick walkway the same as a parking lot or sidewalk? Once again, read the bag and re-read it each year to ensure the effectiveness of your program. Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride are both hydroscopic meaning they are moisture seeking. Both of these types of ice melt clump-up in the bag and are unsafe to apply without gloves. With Inferno and Nitro, you don’t have to wear protective clothing or worry about the product caking up or hardening in the bag. Less wasted ice melt helps you cope with a slimmer budget.
Scenario #4: Using the Wrong Kind – Just because it’s a $6.00 bag doesn’t mean it’s the same as the $12.00 bag. Know what you’re using, why you’re using it, and what potential risk factors are associated with your decision. Also, be cautious if you have newly poured sidewalks. Any concrete less than 1 year old requires the use of liquid ice melters instead of typical ice melt. Also, are you concerned about planting beds, shrubs, and trees around your building? Believe it or not, green guidelines have permeated ice melt just like numerous other lines in our industry. Both Inferno and Nitro are safe on vegetation and bear the Evergreen Certification seal of approval reinforcing its landscape safe attributes. Both are also safe for pets.
Scenario #5: Not Cleaning It Up – If you’re using ice melt, it’s inevitable that it will get tracked into your building. Now is a great time to evaluate your entrance matting to determine if it’s sufficient for the coming months. If you rent entrance matting, be aware that it may not function as well in harsh conditions. For optimal performance, you need a true entrance mat capable of cleaning the feet, absorbing a significant amount of water, and drying shoes. Also, depending on the storm, it may be necessary to increase your mopping or autoscrubbing frequency. When left on the floor for extended periods of time, ice melt residue will dull finish. If combined with sitting water, it will soften your finish leaving you with the timely task of stripping and refinishing floors and entrances. Carpeting may need to be extracted frequently with an extractor to remove both water and ice melt residue. On both carpeting and hard flooring, other ice melters leave a greasy residue. Inferno and Nitro will aid in your cleaning process during the winter months. It’s critical to keep up with maintenance during the winter months. Without a focus, the summer restoration may be more cumbersome than necessary.