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Introduction & Comparisons of Salt for Snow Removal

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by soma56, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. soma56

    soma56 Junior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 10

    I created this little write-up for anyone interested in an introduction to different salts for snow removal. I welcome your comments and feedback at My website

    Introduction & Comparisons of Salt for Snow Removal

    Salt is chemical known as sodium chloride. It is usually treated with some type of anti-caking agent after it comes from a mined rock that has been crushed that has been crushed and screened. This de-icing salt comes mixed at about three-eighths of an inch granule to fine crystals. It is surprisingly light at about a ton per cubic yard.

    Another chemical used for snow removal is called calcium chloride. This chemical comes from natural brines. It can come in either flakes or pellets that are dry or in various concentrations of solutions.

    There is always research being done on different chemical solutions that have less impact on the environment then that of sodium chloride and calcium chloride. Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) is one alternative and in some cases special additives are used to reduce the corrosive prosperities within these de-icing agents. These can be more expensive however you may wish to consider them in unique or sensitive areas.

    By lowering the freezing point of water, these de-icers are able to melt the snow. When a 23.3% concentrate of salt water freezes (at -6o) it allows the chloride to become useful for breaking down ice and snow. This is also the same for a 29.8% concentrate of calcium chloride which begins to freeze at (-67) respectively. Dry-icing must first dissolve into a brine solution before it can become effective. This can occur through moisture from the snow, road and/or sideway surface, or even from humidity (water vapor in the air). Unlike sodium chloride, calcium chloride is able to acquire moisture from the air directly. Even if the surface is below freezing there will be some degree of heat that will assist in the melting process.

    There are several factors that affect the rate of snow melting using these de-icing agents which include the concentration of the chemical, surface temperatures, conditions of weather, width of application and time when the application of the chemical was used.

    The amount is also a factor where if too much chemical solution is used then some of it will not dissolve at all and in a sense it will be wasted. Where too little is used of the solution then there may not be enough to lower the freezing point – both which will result in no clearing of the snow.

    The temperature of the snow or ice covered surface determines the amount of chemicals and the various melting rates. When the temperature goes down the amount of de-icer required to eat away at any given quantity of ice or snow will significantly increase.

    For more information please feel free to contact me at 905-824-6597 or visit me online at http://www.gpmcleaning.com
     
  2. PBinWA

    PBinWA Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Interesting.

    I like salt because it is cheap and readily available. I'm stocking up on solar water heater salt soon. It disperses nicely out of a Earthway lawn spreader.
     
  3. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I wish that were the case here
     
  4. soma56

    soma56 Junior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 10

    GPM Cleaning

    Well, not knowing where you guys may be it's possible to find a good cheap source for salt. First, drill any who may have a supply and consider driving up to 60 kms to get. Second, look for people that you are able to negotiate with or desperately looking to unload. Third find out if there is negotiation for a 'bulk' buy. Forth you can barter a product or service that you could offer to exchange and sweeten the deal. If you follow all those four tips and really go through with them for any potential supplier you are sure to find a better deal then the average person. I wouldn't be surprised if you could buy cheap salt somewhere online and even have it delivered cheaply (and more efficiently) then someone offering it locally.

    GPM Cleaning
     
  5. PBinWA

    PBinWA Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Since this is the home owners area, I only need around 20 bags a year. Last year they were $3 a bag but I haven't looked this year.

    I just buy the stuff at Home Depot or Walmart.

    I suspect the pros need a lot more salt.