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Commercial Sidewalks Without Rust??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by northernsweeper, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I am being told this year that if there is any rust on the new sidewalks when spring comes,I will be held liable..What does everyone else do??
    Do you use ONLY poly blades on sidewalks? Is there a way to clean the rust off when spring comes? Does the chloride leave rust residue? Do snowblowers leave the same rust as plows...or worse? I have done searches but for some reason I always wind up going thru a pile of totally unrelated threads. Thanks for any imput..

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,602

    Can't think of any reason for rust on sidewalks other than blades or areas of open metal in the area of the sidewalks. Sure it is possible for an area to mysteriously arrise during the winter. Explain to the customer that you will do everything in your power to prevent rusing but your main concern is the liability and the safety of thier clients/customers. Ask them why this is such a issue for them and get back to us. Perhaps something happened to them in the past?


  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Whew, I thought it was just me going WTH? :dizzy: rust? from plowing?
    the only time I"ve seen rust get on a sidewalk is from throwing a high iron content fertilizer (the iron rusts) and then the sprinklers come on. but never in salt/plowing
    Sidewalks don't rust, you might have to explain that to the person. :p
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    never had the proublem.:confused:
  5. Duncan90si

    Duncan90si Senior Member
    Messages: 602

    I have seen it before. One movie cinema we plow has a large sidewalk area approx. 30' x 100' so we plow it with the trucks. It did leave some rusty drag marks on the concrete. It must be tiny metal particles laying in the concrete that does. IDK for sure, thats just my guess.

    Its not rusted areas or patches so to speak, just small scrathes or drag marks on the high spots and edges of the concrete. I never received a complaint about it so I can't say how to get rid of it.
  6. Wicked500R

    Wicked500R Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    That is where rust usually comes from...I have seen it. Any metal edge wears into concrete leaving behind tiny metal particles that build up over time....Truck edges or ATV and small machine edges are usually the culprit...more snow equals more scraping equals more metal into the concrete....sounds ridiculous but its true...
  7. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I wonder if its the weight of the steel on a truck plow,grinding into the concrete mixing with it, or the cheap steel in snowblower edges and shovels that create the most rust damage? well I don't want to be replacing sidewalks :dizzy: so I guess I will wind up putting the urethane edges on the 4 wheeler,if I can find them. That still leaves the snowblower?? Thanks for the imput!!
  8. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    i have never herd of this, i wonder how trustworthey the guy is, is he just priming the pump for new walks in a couple of years,,,,, you did say they were new walks right.?

    if the guy is going to be a know-it all before you even start i would seperate myself from that contract
  9. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i would make sure POSITIVLEY sure that there is no iron or metal gate around. nothing metal that would rust and with the run off bleed the deposits onto the concrete. ive seen it many times. usually around old buildings with the security bars on the windows. bars rust. runs down the side of the brick or whatever building. pipes rust. all goes on sidewalk leaving it stained.
    never seen a plow or snowblower cause that much of a problem. more of something bleeding onto it over a long period of time. rusting metal roof with run off onto sidewalk will do it too. on another note. whats in it for reinforcement? rebar? have to wonder whats in some cement to and how much that may bleed out.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2007
  10. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    Plowing doesn't cause rust on side walks.

    The rust comes from the materials that are used to make the concrete. Depending on the different types of stone/aggregets that make up the concrete. There can be small deposits of iron/other heavy metals hidden in the stone. Over time as the concrete breaks down the metals start to rust. Its quite common and for the most part not caused by plowing.

    I run into awnsering this question quite often.

    You need to see if this rust is a PRE-EXISTING PROBLEM. Because If this person wants to you to take responsability for the rust on his side walk and its there already. He wants someone to pay for a new side walk and you need to just let this one go.
  11. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Thanks alot everyone for your input. I don't think I am going to be as concerned about it as I have been.I may not even do the urethane edges,but I will keep the trucks off the walks.Thanks again.Mabey now I can sleep.:sleeping:
  12. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i hate to be negative, but i would tell the owner plowing is hard work and you not liable for anything on his walks. these are public sidewalks, why should you be responsible for anything except getting the snow removed?
  13. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    I'm afraid its the nature of the beast.I can't walk on this one,its a nice contract, even though it has more wording than when we bought our house.:dizzy: I don't blame them for wanting to cover all bases.I know the sidewalks aren't cheap,and I don't want them damaged either.From what everybody says though,I am not to concerned about it anymore.I hope all you guys,have a Great,Safe season!payup
  14. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I have a sections of cement sidewalk that the guy that plows the business next to it, comes out his drive, gets on the sidewalk and pushes over my section to the end.

    I use a quad and he uses his truck. In the spring and still even now there are two lines running down the sidewalk where his plow pads would be. The quad blade is not heavy enough to cause this problem. Repeated running with the heavy truck plow will.

    I think as mentioned above it is the rocks in the concrete being exposed that cause it, not the rust coming off of the plow pads.
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I agree.
    1. How could that much of the edge be worn off on the sidewalk to cause rust?
    2. There would be rust stains everywhere if it was caused by the plow.
    3. We would be changing edges like underwear.

    There might be rust on the bottom of your plow if you do not use it much but plowing for a few feet first should remove any rust that has formed there.

    If this is the cause of the stains?
  16. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    ditto, my school, WMU has rust stains on all the sidewalks from the plows. about the only way to prevent it is to use a rubber or urethane edge.
  17. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    its not like a cheese grader just chewing away at the cutting edge. its little steel particles getting embedded in the small cracks of the cement usually only on the high spots of the walks since no walk is perfectly flat.
  18. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2007
  19. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Got a customer who didn't want the plow edge run on the concrete.....Can't you put those two little pad's down to keep the edge off the driveway she said....

    SURE I said.

    In the spring she had a bunch of rusty tracks in her concrete:eek: :eek: :eek:

    Steel plow shoes+ plow weight on shoes + concrete drive with broom finish = rusty parallel tracks in the nice concrete drive.

    As to the components in the concrete causing it to rust.....................................Let me think.................

    Portland cement, sand, gravel, water, mag chloride for setup, add mixtures ( don't remember any having iron in them ) ...................none of these except if the gravel has a lot of Iron content would cause rust.

    If the guy pouring the concrete got the rebar and the wire that close to the top he should go back to training class and that would cause popouts and cracks not just rust.

    Could be I just don't make sense though. Only dealt with this problem (plowing and concrete pouring ) for 20 or so years so I could still be learning.
  20. Duncan90si

    Duncan90si Senior Member
    Messages: 602

    I couldn't agree more.
    I think Jerre makes just a little more sense. I've caused and seen rust marks on concrete before. I know that plows can leave rust tracks especially concrete with a broom finish. I've even seen them from plowing sidewalks with ATVs and where mowing decks of my mowers rub on sidewalks and curbs.