Ice storm advise


Senior Member
Walingford, Ct.
Okay guys I need a little input here, we have an approaching ice storm here in Ct. How do you handle one of these? do you just keep laying down the salt sand? I have a large factory I do that stays open 24/7 and I am at odds as to how to handle this. Any input would be great Thanks.:confused:

Alan Addict
When we got hit with the "Perfect (Ice) Storm" in 1998 we tried everything to keep our lots open. We had something like 60 hours of freezing drizzle with air temps hanging right around 30°, absolutely perfect conditions for building ice. Early January so surface temperatures were down as well.

We had applied early, at that time with untreated salt, and that kept us clear the first day. After that diluted too far and ice started to build we salted over the top. The coarser the salt granulation the better it worked. The coarse nuggets would melt a hole down to pavement, then spread brine under the ice layer. Traffic would crush it up where it wasn't attached and we could plow it off.

We used quite a lot of mmix in that storm as well, but only on gravel areas. Straight salt won't work on gravel as it melts into the surface instead of making brine and spreading out.

Given another storm like that we would approach it the same way. Apply early and heavily, then monitor for buildup. If the buildup is loose, try plowing it off then applying again. If it gets ahead of you, stay with salt, sand is a waste and ends up covered in ice very soon after you apply. Salt over the top, heavy, and monitor for the time when the pack loosens from the pavement, then scrape it off.

Being early in the season and further south, my bet is that your pavement temperatures are barely below freezing at this point. That will help salt work faster to break the pack loose. Applying heavy the salt will act as it's own abrasive until it melts in, and by then the surface is pretty well pocked and will offer some traction.