LIQUID ICE CONTROL

There is a revolution going on with regards on how to control snow and ice accumulations on roads, parking lots and sidewalks.

Liquids vs. Solids: Just because you start using liquids, does not mean you stop using solids – you are just going to use them differently.

 

Here is where some fights start. Maybe not Ford vs Chevy level, but snow and ice control professionals have their preferences. In general, there are two types those who embrace liquids and those who don't. Liquids, if used as part of a proactive snow and ice control operations plan, can substantially reduce materials usage, wear and tear on maintenance equipment, and personnel time. Liquids have the same melting characteristics of their solid counterparts, but since the product is applied in liquid form, the product can begin to work immediately.

 

Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride) solid is the most common of solid products used to control snow and ice accumulations on roads, parking lots and sidewalks. Rock Salt works best at temperatures at or just below freezing.

  • When solids are applied before a snowfall or winter storm, as much as 80% of the product is wasted due to it being removed from the road surface because of traffic and ending up on the road's shoulder. So for solids to not be wasted they must be applied after the start of the snowfall or storm.

Salt Brine (Sodium Chloride) liquid is the most common of solid products used to control snow and ice accumulations on roads, parking lots and sidewalks. Salt Brine works best at temperatures at or just below freezing.

  • When liquids are applied before a snowfall or winter storm they are not thrown from the roads, parking lot and sidewalk surfaces due to traffic and ending up on the roads shoulder and wasted, because the product seeps into the pores and cracks of the road and dries. This means that the product remains where it is applied. Liquid products can be effectively applied by as much as a week BEFORE the snowfall or storm. The Liquid chemicals are under the snow and prevent it from forming a bond with the road, parking lot and sidewalk surface. When and if the plowing of snow is required, the plowing is easier much easier as generally only slush not hard pack will remain.

 

How are Liquid Applications Priced?
  • Liquids are generally priced the same as solids generally by an application rate. The price for the application should be dependent upon the specifics of the applications requirement; IE ( Frost Fighting, Pre-storm, Post Storm, Product Used, etc.)

 

What are the Differences Between Liquids and Solids?
  • Liquid products can be effectively applied by as much as a week BEFORE the snowfall or storm.

  • Liquids when applied before a snowfall or storm prevent the snow from bonding to the road, parking lot and sidewalk surface.

  • When and if the plowing of snow is required, the plowing is easier much easier as generally only slush not hard pack will remain.

  • ​Liquid are potentially less corrosive and harmful to vegetation, because product is not wasted.

  • Solids are applied AFTER the snowfall or storm starts, so as to not waste as much as 80% of product.

  • When and if the plowing of snow is required, the plowing is difficult because of hard packed snow.

  • Solids are highly corrosive and harmful to vegetation

What are the Advantages of Liquids Compared to Solids?

Numerous studies have shown the following

  • Reduced Material Costs:     Liquids for snow and ice control can be very cost effective as up to 80% are not wasted.

  • Improved Results:     Liquids being applied before a storm can prevent the snow and ice from bonding to the pavement.

  • More versatile:     A hose allows quick and easy applications to walks, steps and areas between parked cars that are hard to do.

  • Reduced Labour costs:     Liquids can reduce labour costs by reducing the hours needed for plowing and clean-up.

  • Faster Plowing:     Liquids makes plowing and cleanup easier, which means the crew not working long grueling hours after a storm.

  • Reduced Repair Costs:     Liquids can reduce repair costs because plowing and cleanup easier, which means less broken equipment.

 

What Product Is Best?

Most liquids are usually purchased in a ready to apply format.

  • SALT BRINE:     Is the most common of liquid products and the practical working temperature is above -10C or (+15F) is harmful to vegetation, concrete and metal.

  • CALCIUM CHLORIDE:     Is very effective when temperatures are below -10C or (15F) and works to -32C or (-25F) is less harmful to vegetation and concrete, but will corrode metal.

  • MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE:     Is considered one of the best liquids available because it works to -33C or (-28F) is less corrosive to metals, people, animals and harmful to vegetation.

  • POTASSIM CHLORIDE:    Practical working temperature is above -12C or (+12F) It does not harm plants, attack concrete, but accelerates frost damage, leaves a residue and applied at a slightly higher rate than other liquid choices.

  • UREA:     Has limited effectiveness the practical working temperature is above -10C or (+15F).  It is used more as a fertilizer.  It needs to be applied at a higher rate than other liquids.

  • CALCIUM MAGNESIUM ACETATE: The practical working temperature is above -15C or (+5F). It has a low level of corrosiveness, about that of tap water.  It is biodegradable, and not toxic.

  • BEET JUICE:     Beet Juice needs to be added to salt brine to work and the practical working temperature is above -10C or (+15F). It will improve the adhesive qualities and lower the effective temperature range of the SALT BRINE.

 

Can I Make Liquids Myself?

Making your own liquids are easy with a Brine Maker. Just add solid Sodium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride,  Calcium Magnesium Acetate or Urea to make brine. You may use bagged salt, bulk products. Making your own liquids can cost  a fraction of what you would pay buying ready to use liquids.​