Keeping your company roads safe after snow and ice accumulation is a concern that many companies and cities deal with each winter. Most types of businesses in addition to residents have to do what is necessary to make their pavement surfaces safe for pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Here are some tips to consider when choosing the type of deicing materials you use on your roads and other pavements.

Prevent Freeze-Thaw Damage

There are many types of chemicals you can use on your business' paved surfaces to deice and prevent slipping accidents. Depending on the climate your business resides in, you will need to choose a specific deicing chemical to prevent freeze-thaw cycles on your pavement.

Freeze-thaw cycles occur when the water in the deicing chemicals freeze when the temperature drops low enough, then they remelt when the temperature rises again. Freeze-thaw cycles allow melting snow and ice to permeate into tiny cracks within your pavement, then freeze and expand when the temperature drops, causing cracks and heave damage to occur in your pavements. This can lead to potholes and erosion of your asphalt and concrete, requiring excessive repairs and even replacement in the coming months.

Choose an Appropriate Deicer

To help you prevent freeze-thaw damage, it is recommended to select a deicer depending on the expected low temperature in your area, usually a night-time temperature. Chemical deicers lower the freezing point of moisture on the roads to keep it from turning to ice and prevent snow from accumulating on its surface.

Rock salt is a deicing chemical known as sodium chloride and will melt snow and ice on your paved surfaces down to a temperature of between 15 and 20 degrees F. Rock salt combined with water to a recommended 23.3 percent mixture can lower the freezing temperature of snow and water on pavements to –5.8 degrees F.

For a lower freezing point, you can apply Magnesium chloride to prevent your pavements from freezing down to 3 degrees F. When this deicing chemical is applied at its recommended solution of 21.6 percent, you can lower the freezing point to -28 degrees F. If you want to lower the freezing point of water on your roads and pavements, calcium chloride combined in a 30 percent solution can lower the freeze temperature to -60 degrees F.  

Prepare Deicer for Optimal Effectiveness

You can apply a deicer chemical to your pavements in its solid form, often considered rock salt. The downside of applying a deicer in this manner is that for it to begin working, it needs to combine with moisture and dissolve into a brine solution on the pavement before it can properly deice your pavement.

Using a liquid deicer chemical can be more effective to speed up your deicing capabilities to your pavements. This can be completed by using the chemical dissolved in water and applying your deicer as a liquid directly to the pavements. This can also allow a more even application as a liquid can cover a larger area than a deicing chemical made of rock crystals. Application of a deicing solution can be done with a road plow truck and the use of a brine spraying applicator to get even coverage over the pavement surfaces.

Manage the Timing of Your Deicer

Once you have selected a deicing chemical to use on your roads, you can choose to use it in different ways. You can act proactively to prevent ice and snow accumulation by applying it onto pavements and roads just before you expect a storm to bring in snow and ice. You can also apply it re-actively as soon as the snow begins to accumulate on pavements. This will melt any existing snow and prevent more snow and ice from collecting and forming.

Applying a deicing chemical onto pavements and roads with a mixture of sand can deice and provide additional traction for pedestrians and vehicles over your pavements, which can minimize the occurrence any accidental slips and injuries.

Use these tips to help you manage your business' deicing of roads and pavements. To learn more, contact services like GMCO Corporation.