1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Side walk salting

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by grassguy123, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. grassguy123

    grassguy123 Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 28

    we got an inch and a half of snow so i pre salted with hopes that i wouldnt have to come back later. the parking lots were good with the rock salt. but i used calcium on the sidewalks and the snow just piled up on it.

    should i have used rock salt on the sidewalks? would that have worked better?

    is calcium only for ice?
  2. 4700dan

    4700dan Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 329

    My experience is calcium does not leave any residue on the surface for any later melting capabilities it desolves to quick we went to salt on the walks instead
  3. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    If you had only cal or rock, yes, the rock probably would have worked better for you. It's more about how the two products brine up. Odd as it sounds, calcium tends to not work well in snow because the snow doesn't contain enough moisture to allow the CC to for a good brine (which is the goal of using any salt). The CC tends to burn off the snow as soon it lands, and it never really brines up well.

    I will say this--when a potential client asks for a quote on CC ("Peladow" usually), I always, always, always respond with "why?" I've learned that the vast majority of snow removal contractors just aren't aware of the options out there now, and there are far better options in most cases than just straight CC. Some folks just want what they "know", and are unwilling to try new products (I don't understand that....at all), but we've had more than a few give other products a try, and almost all of them have greatly reduced or eliminated their use of straight CC altogether.

  4. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    i agree, i will give quotes for calcium, and just state that its only used in extreme temperature like 20 below or so. Most ice melts on the market can easily melt ice/snow down to 10 or 15 below zero. I dont use rock on walks just becasue it tracks really easily. But ice melt is mostly rock salt just screened finely and then calcium and mag mixed in. Usually on walks ive never really had great sucess with presalting and we usuaually will come back. Most of our accounts to we scrap the sidewalks off reguardless of accumulation, unless its a dusting,
  5. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    I find that in extreme snows I am having similar results. I go back mid-day through the properties and my walks are already starting to cover and the parking lots are black and wet. I attribute some of it to concrete vs. asphalt, but I think the product I'm using this year is either A. sub par, or B. not meant to provide long lasting results rather designed to eat the ice. The product is IceByter. During our large storm this past weekend I applied rock salt to one of the walks knowing I would not be able to be back Mid-day. I did however make it through around 3:00 (almost 10hrs later) and it had just started to gather a dusting. Mind you we had an additional 3"-4" of snow throughout the day. I don't typically use rock salt on the walks but for the sake of utilizing the product I have I may incorporate a mix of some sort for the walks this year.
  6. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Something to consider with walks, that a lot of folks don't ever think about--temperature. It sounds a little far fetched, but most concrete walks (not all, but more than you might think) have a little bit of air circulation underneath them (from base settling or cracks in the concrete). Just enough to allow the ambient temperature to affect the surface temp that much more, whereas a parking lot is generally thicker, compacted (asphalt), and on a more well-prepared base. It's the same principle that makes bridges so difficult to keep from freezing, just not to the same degree.

    Also, I will say that in the past I've been known to blatantly put rock salt on certain walks--to the point of obnoxious. Where? On north side walks, that tend to be shadowed most of the day. I did have complaints, but the reasoning was quite simple--those walks will ice over before anything else, and the larger (rock) salt will last a little longer, and also offers a traction advantage for foot traffic if it does freeze over between visits. I had one particular building that, short of using a torch to force the walks dry (which was of little help, because it would collect water from an overhead door), would freeze over like clockwork. It was really annoying--and they were vehemently against calcium ($$), and even balked at sand or bird's eye for traction, to help deter slip & falls. It was a very odd situation...and I do not particularly miss that one.

  7. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    yup thats a good point. Walks are elevated what 6"? and like you said the cracks, where the asphalt is below the surface where the wind and temperature have a harder time to penetrate it.

    I have walks like that. Just a PITA to keep clear. Good money maker though. It only took 1 season to fix my pricing issue on that. So I have no problem continuing to head back as needed
  8. mike86544

    mike86544 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    what i have learned to do is make a salt brine from cc flake or pellet spray your rock salt then apply on walks works like a charm last a bit longer works faster and melts at lower temps treated now ive seem treated bagged salt but look at the price!!!
  9. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Basically, what we just call "chloride" in the dump truck world....works like a charm! (we use it to keep loads from sticking in the box, but it's dandy on walks, too)
  10. spaceman12321

    spaceman12321 Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 20

    Have you considered the possibility that the cleaning service cleaned off the walks?

    Many times the cleaning services at our commercial locations blow or sweep off the walks after a storm when there is ice melt on it. They figure they will knock it off outside or have to clean up the footprints and tracks inside. They really hate us but if we dont put ice melt down and somebody slips and falls... the janitor won't pay the medical bills just so I dont put down ice melt.
  11. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Wait, what??

  12. crazyskier537

    crazyskier537 Senior Member
    from NE IL
    Messages: 129

    Haha ^^^ :confused:. :drinkup:
  13. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    i doubt that is the reason. If your commercials are doing that, then your putting down way to much salt. With Ice melt, you could open the spreader halfway and get enough salt to come out to cover the walks effectivly. Secondly, calcium pellets wont prevent the snow from accumulating. Especially when you get 1.5 inches. I have put calcium down on my driveway before, and .5 inches accumulated.

    And now that i think about it more, what time of day did this occur at? Did you check on the site after cars had been driving over it or what? IF there was traffic on the lot then that will cause the snow to melt. Foot traffic unfortunately doesnt have the same effect on the snow as cars do when theres salt down. Like westhardt stated, concrete walks and asphalt drives are two completely different things and need to be treated differently.
  14. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

  15. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    i have a rare perspective i think, i do commercial cleaning, and also plow 2 of the lots that i clean, so i have a better feeling for how much salt i put down and how much salt gets tracked in..

    if you are looking for salt to stay, then bulk works great. no questions, it will stay longer and keep traction on the concrete. but it will track in chuncks, to small granules, and it can also lead to a film of chloride deposit forming on heavilly trafficed carpet areas, (stairs, entryways, the dentists office in the building, etc....). In my experience so far, bulk is great for big snowfalls because of the size of the rocks and how long it will stay, but for little snowfalls it is way more effective (cost, and time) to use smaller granuled material. not only are you putting less salt down (compared to the size of bulk salt granules), but you are also helping out the building onwer/cleaners/tennants, by not letting soo much salt get tracked in to ruin carpeted areas..

    does anyone know how expensive it is to re-carpet an entire main floor, plus stairways?(hypotheitical question) believe me, owners will thank you for saving them money, janitors for their time, and tennants for keeping their sidewalks clear without letting their offices become covored in salt!

    the right salt for the job can save time, money, and a lawsuit...
  16. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    I don't care how much new carpet is I am paid to keep people on your property safe and will use the necessary amount of salt to ensure this if you want to worry about dust getting tracked in then you must have a great insurance company that doesn't care about lawsuits. I will rather have the janitor complain about how much is being tracked in as opposed to 1 slip and fall law suit
  17. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    i guess some people are just more considerate than others... IMO, if you don't care about saving money or being considerate then by all means, dump away! i like to keep track of how much money i am spending on product, whether it be salt or toilet bowl cleaner. there is a fine line where you can be fully effective without wasting.. i guess that is where skill comes in...