View Full Version : Pre-treating lots with freezing rain on the way

12-10-2002, 04:39 PM
They are predicting some freezing rain here tomorrow and we're new to de-icing. Was wondering what the best way might be to attack this. Should we salt before the rain starts or does pre-treatment even matter with freezing rain. Any help is greatly appreciated.

12-10-2002, 04:49 PM
Good question.

I'm going out as we speak to pre-salt in hopes that it will be all thats needed. I have to be at my other job @ 8am, so I hope by going out now will keep whatever rain comes down from developing an ice layer.

Any other thoughts or theories?

12-10-2002, 05:56 PM
I have also been "experimenting" with this the past couple seasons. It is much easier with snow than freezing rain. You need to be careful you dont put it down too early, during straight rain, and have it simply diluted. You need to watch pavement temps and apply just before things begin to freeze.

12-10-2002, 06:25 PM
We're looking for freezing rain here "by dawn" changing to rain by afternoon, according to the NWS. 60% chance of rain they say. Since it's forecast to begin as freezing rain--it's below freezing here already this evening--I'm thinking we'll go out and pre-salt as soon as the radar makes it relatively certain that we'll get rained on. I don't want to be fighting morning rush hour, and I sure don't want the customers whining that they have icy lots just at the time they all expect to be done by. I'm also planning to salt the couple of "salt only when plowed" accounts. I hope they'll appreciate the good judgement--if they do we'll look good. If they don't we'll let them complain about the billing, and tell them it's just because we want to give top notch service. We'll write off the $20 worth of salt and know better next time.

We'll see what happens....

(30 miles east of here they're forecasting 1/4 inch of ice accumulation. How often have we seen them forecast the right weather, but be 30 miles in the wrong place?)

12-10-2002, 10:44 PM
Hey PineIsland,

It was 8 degrees here last night, didn't get above 30 today, and right now at 11:45pm its 14 degrees. Pavement temp is well below freezing, and ANY rain we get is going to make a icicle out of my lots. All salted extra heavy. Left them looking WHITE :D with salt! Walks were heavily coated with calcium too.

Cheap insurance for what could be disasterous tomorrow morning!

If it wasn't this cold the past week and it was in the 40's or something today, I'd be a different story, but....

12-11-2002, 09:25 AM
It's about 1 to 2 hrs here from freezing rain & snow on the radar. I just went out to check ground temp & it should start to freeze in a couple of hrs. Looks like another salting only storm as each & every storm so far this yr. :(

I like to get out just as the ice rain starts to hit, if your to early with very much rain ahead of the ice rain it will wash away.:waving:

12-11-2002, 04:09 PM
Had about 30lbs left over and hit 1/2 of my driveway last night before calling it a night. Spread it the same consistancy as I did my lots. This morning at 7am it was raining and instantly FREEZING to EVERYTHING.....EXCEPT the small area of my driveway that I pre-treated! I basically ice skated down the rest of the drive to pick up my trash cans, but that area that was salted was wet with still undissolved salt crystals all over.

Of course its all washed away now, as its been raining HARD all day!

Sure beats humpin 80lb'ers into the hopper while the pickup bed is a sheet of ice and its pouring rain!!! (As I saw a few contractors doing this morning!) :nono:

12-11-2002, 05:00 PM
Good call. Its nice when things work out . I am sure your customers noticed also, as well as some future customers...

12-15-2002, 06:19 PM
Just a follow-up to my prior post...

By 3 a.m. they'd changed the forecast. "Significant ice accumulation", I think was the phrase. The NWS also said (I forget excatly how it was phrased but it was something like), "You will be risking your life if you choose to leave the saftey of your home". A couple of the commercial radio broadcasters said they couldn't recall ever hearing that particular type of phraseology.

We hit the road around 4 a.m. and had all of our salt customers treated shortly after the precip began. We went to reload the trucks with salt, and by the time we were done, one customer called and asked if we could come back again. (What they described as icy was more on the slushy side.) Since they'd called, I took the liberty of calling several others we know to be very sensitive. They said they'd like a second treatment as well.

By the time we'd finished with that, it was pretty much over. The earlier forecast had been much closer to the truth than the revised one.

Had we gotten the "significant" amount they called for in the later forecast there's no doubt we'd have had to treat everything more than once.

As it turned out we were pretty close to handling this one just right. Had it been forecast to begin in the evening rather than the start of the morning rush hour we probably could have waited until after the storm to treat and still come out ok.

12-20-2002, 05:26 PM
Forecasters were calling for 1/4" of ice starting at 6 am. So at 3 am, ground temp at 27 we decided to do an anti-icing using straight liquid Magic on all our sites. We finished up just as the perspiration started. No icing at all. A few hours later as the Magic diluted out all we had to do was a very light application of Magic Salt.


12-21-2002, 08:41 AM
we presalt lots all the time when freezing rain is forcasted, if it happens, we're heros, if it doesn't then with some customers we're idiots, but most appreciate and understand that all we have to go on is what national weather service says and our own gut feeling, they (most) would rather have us error on the side of caution. i would rather have a customer call and say "why did you salt the lot?" rather than " this place is a skating rink" the former is much more easily explained and shows we have a genuine concern with the conditions of the parking areas we service. if someone does not understand we usually won't service them anymore, we want customers who allow us to make the decisions, after all we watch the weather constintley, visit the locations in the middle of the night, and do snow removal and ice controll professionally. i think that qualifies US to make decisions, unless of course the facility manager would like to come out at 3:00a.m. and make the call himself. deal with people honestly and you will be rewarded. good luck and happy holidays to all.