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which is more cost effective?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by goodlivin33, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. goodlivin33

    goodlivin33 Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    i can buy 50# bag of solar salt for 3.99 a bag or the roadrunner stuff at sams for 7.50 for a 50# bag which consists of mag chloride/ ? chloride...i know price per pound salt is cheaper but in you're opinion which is over all more cost effective
  2. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872


    It is more important in a matter of needed coverage at
    the ground temperature when you are spreading for deicing.

    You may simply find and want to use a combination of
    solar salt, magnesium chloride, and mason sand to
    provide excellent coverage and grit in case of a refeeezing
    situation. you will not go wrong with sand as a backup with
    solar salt.

    You need the grit of sand with solar salt on walkways as the
    solar salt is much harder than rock salt and slippage/falling
    is a possibility if the solar salt is not uniform in small pellet size.

    The solar salt will not melt as quickly as rock salt too which is
    good too.

    If you make up a mix containing 1/3 solar salt, 1/3 sand and
    1/3 road runner you will have good coverage at all temperatures.
  3. Rich Graz

    Rich Graz Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    There have been studies that prove sand actually works in a negative way against de-icing agents. Plus who wants to clean up sand at the end of a season for a half hour worth of traction each application(if even that).
  4. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872


    Hello Rich Graz,

    I take it that you never use mason, concrete or stone sand
    for walkways or asphault?

    If you have the studies would you be so kind to post them here?

    The primary benefit of sand is simply increasing traction as people
    still venture out in shoes with no treads and that is an automatic
    bullseye for slips and falls.

    The secondary benefit of sand allows you to create a second income
    by cleaning it up.
  5. Rich Graz

    Rich Graz Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    Well let me start off by saying I buy far north of a million pounds of granular deicing agents a season( I quote it in pounds because it sounds larger :)). The only benefit of sand is to increase traction, which if you have been back to your lot even an hour later know it doesn't do much unless you are ridiculously heavy with it . Now the only reason why contractors use salt is because it lowers the freezing points of water (well also it can have some minimal help in the traction department).

    Heres the common sense: The primary difference between water and ice is the speed at which the molecules move. When salt is added to water, the salt and water molecules stick together, once this is done the temperature at which it freezes is below that of pure water. Now salt is not the only chemical that slows this down, basically anything that can dissolve into water will slow the freezing process down, hence why you see people putting in things to there liquid spreads that some may seem to be exotic. On the flip side of the coin adding a non dissolving material such as "sand" slows down the process of the molecules bonding.

    For cleaning up sand creating a second income, I really doubt it, a few extra bucks obviously. If your client decides to educate themselves they may not like sand and remember once you get someone like me talking to your client laughing at them about paying to clean up the sand, well you know how it goes.............

    To defend some other points on here sand may work in a positive way only when temperatures increase above freezing because the sand is normally darker then the ice it will absorb the heat better then the ice and will slowly transfer that heat to the ice. Although I would not really think this would be proactive.

    Just my 2 cents
  6. peterng

    peterng Senior Member
    Messages: 249


    Use whatever is the most economical given the situation. I pay $15-50lb bag of mag chloride. $9-90lb bag of sodium chloride. $5-50lb bag of sand.

    For pedestrian passageways I use sodium chloride on open areas. Closer to the entrances I use magnesium chloride. Wooden surfaces get sand mixed in to aid traction. wet wood is as slippery as ice. The concrete steps get sand mixed in as well. Frozen pave or concrete often gets the frost driven out of it if the surface is melted I find. I have to mix a little sand in to give some grip. If I melt and its sunny and windy then I know it will dry out and I can just melt it.

    Most clients don't like the staining of the sodium chloride and are willing to pay for the mag. Sodium isn't as effective once the temperature is below 5-13 degrees celsius without some sun on it. The extra cost of the mag comes through per lb applied the colder it gets.

    For vehicular passageways we use sodium chloride exlcusively unless the temperature makes it ineffective, then we will sand til the temps come back up. I want to start experimenting with liquid calcium chloride sprayed on but I am not set up to do that yet.
    Good luck,
  7. goodlivin33

    goodlivin33 Senior Member
    Messages: 100

    thanks for the insight i am still waiting for it to do anything here ..no snow ...no ice ...but with the advice Ive gotten i think it will helpful not not as stressful..thanks