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Northwood Outdoor Services

Northwood Outdoor Services

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying Salt in the Winter

There is a lot more to salting a parking lot or other paved surface than throwing down some rock salt. We put together a list of four of the most common mistakes made when salting parking lots, walkways, patios and driveways.

1. Using Products Incorrectly

It is best practice to only use the amount of salt recommended by the manufacturer to ensure adequate ice melting. Too much salt can very corrosive and can cause damage, leading to expensive pavement or lawn repairs as a result. Take measures when applying salt. A little goes a long way (as long as the product is applied for its temperature range), and it’s important not to use an excessive amount of rock salt and other ice melt products as they can be detrimental to the local environment such as bodies of water from the eventual runoff.

2. Neglecting to Shovel or Plow

Another problem many face into is skipping the shoveling or plowing process when snow accumulation has reached a depth at least .5″. If temperatures are above 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit, most ice melt products can melt up to .5″ of snow away even during the overnight hours, but any more snow depth should be shoveled, snow-blown or plowed prior to applying salt. Failure to remove the snow can lead to refreezing and a potentially dangerous situation for both pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

3. Only Using Rock Salt

Rock salt works great to melt ice leftover on pavement following snow plowing or shoveling, but it has its limits. It can only provide melting assistance to certain temperatures. For most rock salt products, they are no longer effective below 10 degrees. So it is imperative to have magnesium or calcium chloride on hand, especially in Minnesota because we routinely see temperatures well below zero for multiple days at a time following snow events.

4. Using Salt and Sand Together

Many municipalities will use a salt and sand mixture on roads for a blend of traction plus ice melt capability. This can work effectively on roads with lower traffic volume such as neighborhoods, however for busy retail or office parking lots, warehouses, restaurants, etc. it is critical to scrape the surface down to pavement and then apply salt to melt off any remaining snow pack. Dry pavement will far outperform traction for foot and vehicle traffic, allowing for safe accessibility into your establishment.

Snow and ice removal may sound daunting to home and business property owners, but hiring a qualified snow service professional can make the entire process simple and turn-key. If you are looking for a top-rated snow plowing and ice removal contractor in Rogers, MN, contact the pros at Northwood Outdoor Services today for a quote to keep your business or residence free and clear this winter.

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