Cold weather is inevitably on the horizon and to avoid the last minute rush & panic when it weather strikes, we thought we’d provide some helpful tips to ensure you’re prepared when the snow & ice arrives.
This article is for anyone responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of business premises, ensuring the safety of employees and visitors during the cold winter months.
There are a number of different ways to deal with snow and ice, here are some of the most commonly asked questions and products suitable for the job.
De-Icing Salt vs. Ice Melt – what to use and when?
De-icing salt or grit is made from white marine salt. The salt when spread on roads and pavements lowers the temperature at which the moisture on the surface freezes which makes it harder for ice to form and promotes the melting of existing snow and ice.
ü Spread grit when roads & pavements are slightly damp but not frozen – this gives the grit chance to stick to the surface and will be more effective in the long run.
ü Repeat the applications at intervals during the day to maintain effectiveness – overtime melting ice/snow can dilute grit so it’s important to reapply.
An alternative to salt is to use an ice melt spray; this comes in liquid form and is up to 10x more effective than grit at melting ice. It also keeps it from reforming right down to an effective temperature of -25°C.
ü The spray does not damage carpets when it is walked into the building;
ü It is 100% organic eco-friendly and non-toxic for humans, pets and vegetation.
Whether you’re using an ice melt or grit, ensure that you clear top layers of fresh snow before treating the lower levels. Ideally, clear loose snow early as it’s much easier to clear vs. compacted ice that has been compressed by people walking on it.
Sprayer & spreaders – how to distribute your grit / ice melt effectively and quickly
As the name implies spreaders are designed to spread the contents of their hoppers evenly across an area, so you fill them with salt and spread it where needed. There are basic hand spreaders used for smaller areas such as walkways or the more heavy duty vehicle mounted spreaders, these are ideal for large areas such as car parks or access roads.
For ice melt, there are a range of sprayers available:
- The “backpack sprayer” can hold up to 15ltr and weighs 4.2kg unloaded,
- The 22ltr “push along” sprayer has pneumatic tyres making it easy to move to where you need it and can melt up to 2500m2 of snow and ice before needing to be refilled.
Salt / Grit – where and how to store it
Keeping salt dry is extremely important when it is not in use.
It is recommended that you store salt/grit in plastic grit bins that are located around your premises – this ensures easy access, as and when needed. Key supplies a range of grit storage solutions
Here are some of our more popular products:
- The 75ltr mobile grit bin allows you to move the salt to where you need it
- The larger 200ltr and 350ltr bins are able to store much more for use in different areas and are ideal for having at strategic points on your site so you can access the salt as needed.
If you have grit storage bins though it is important that you check their levels from time to time (especially during spells of cold weather) because you never know when you might need it.
Snow clearing equipment – what products are available?
The most basic is the shovel, this is a versatile tool as you can use it to first clear away the excess snow and then spread the salt on the cleared surface. Key supplies a set of snow shovels that can be stored in vehicles for emergency use or on site.
When you think of a snow plough you might have a vision of a large truck like the Council use to clear the roads. There are alternatives:
- the light duty snow plough is ideal for lighter snow falls and clearing smaller areas
- an adjustable snow plough mounted on the front of a fork lift truck can clear large areas of deeper snow.
All the items discussed in this article are available from the Key winter store range so there is no excuse for not having clear walkaways this winter.