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Packed snow on lots and walks

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Smitty58, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Smitty58

    Smitty58 Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    We just had a storm that was snow then ice then snow again. So of course the lots and walks were packed down. First of all do you worry with getting it down to the pavement? And if you do (which in this case would have taken forever) what does that do to the pricing? Most people understand this but of course there is always one you thinks there place should always look like it does in July. How does everyone else handle this?
  2. 84deisel

    84deisel Senior Member
    Messages: 697

    we salt lots and walks down to water everytime.
  3. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    We use salt and then scrape with bobcats and loaders if they want it down to bare pavement
  4. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Yep, enough salt will take it down to wet pavement. That then dries. Use a product like calcium on the walks...for a number of reasons.
  5. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Ditto to all of the above.
  6. Smitty58

    Smitty58 Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    Ok so you are telling me that if you have a 50,000 sq ft lot with 2 inches of ice on top of another 2 inches of snow and it's all packed down that you put enough salt on it to get it down to pavement. And if you have 500 ft of sidewalk with the same you do that too. I doubt that very much. The normal (around here) lot that size does not have enough profit in it to throw that much salt or bring in heavy equipment to do it. I did a couple of homes that I broke up the ice on the sidewalks with a steel shovel and scraped them clean. That about killed me doing 50 ft long walks 3 ft wide, can't imagine doing that for 500 ft or an entire parking lot. I'm not sure even a bobcat would have been able to get it clean. In the future I guess I'll have to address this before signing a contract. I've only had 1 complaint but I don't want any.
  7. timberseal

    timberseal Senior Member
    from 46385
    Messages: 247

    All depends on what you've presented in your contract. I have several that want pavement which means we continue to salt as needed to melt down the ice. Others dont want salt at all unless they call. Everything we do is based on an hourly rate and per pound of salt applied so it makes no difference to me but those who flatrate everything could have a problem.
  8. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    No one here cleans to bare pavement. We do the best we can,
    If the customer wants bare pavement we would just charge ALOT more.
    We never just salt anyway. We use a sand/salt mix and no one complains. There are plenty of lots in town that look like a beach most of the winter. Very messy but thats how it is done here.
  9. timmy1

    timmy1 Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 470

    Try Pretreating the walks and lots prior to the storm with salt. It doesn't take much.

    You'll be impressed when you drop the blade and see bare pavement in your mirrors.

    It creates a slush layer on top of the asphalt.

    Now, the trick is to keep the bare pavement all winter. If you skip the treatment just once, you'll have to work hard to get it back.
  10. wrtenterprises

    wrtenterprises Member
    Messages: 73

    We had an ice storm here in State College the first week of January that left us with an inch of ice on all my sidewalks and driveways. I salted and hand scraped 25 properties. It took me (3) days to get through them all. I only do resi, so I could not use rock salt which works the best. So, I salted a couple of properties, and then came back to the first and began hand scraping. I also found that a big pack blower works great for getting under ice. The ice has to be loose underneath for it to work. But you can blow all the ice to the side and not need to shovel it away. Good luck, you are looking at some rough days ahead....
  11. CityGuy

    CityGuy PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,220

    We do have the bobcat ice scrapers for our bobcats and once you get it started the edge of a loader bucket if used right and enough weight behind it will peel it right off.
  12. carl b

    carl b PlowSite.com Addict
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,330

    You have to plow the slush . or it may refreeze
  13. Niteman9

    Niteman9 Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    If they want dry pavement and you know that you shouldn't have let it get that way. And they should be paying for that service.
  14. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    You should have salted 3 times during storm. Once to pretreat it. 2nd when it when to freezing rain. The after all next snow event. or you could just drop 3 times the amount of salt at end and pray it melsts away. But I guess it depends on contract. but my lots is alway wet and dry when I leave. But I scrape the entire storm in same lot
  15. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Nnnnno. That's not what we're telling you. the first thing you have to unerstand is how salt (and other melters) works. Melting agents do not work from the top down...They work from the bottom up. The pellets burn through the ice, forming holes. From there, the melting starts. the material turns to liquid and seeps inder the layer of ice/snow. It starts melting from the bottom up. In many cases, even with thick layers, what happens is, the whole ice does not melt...but it DOES have the bond to the pavement broke. It then scrapes up easily and can be shoveled, plowed, or whatever. This is how this type of a situation is treated. Now, afterward, while you may still have some ice residue in spots on the lot/walks, I would certainly recommend retreating with melter (whether it is salt, calcium, or whatever). This will do two things. It will take care of the leftover on the surface(s), it will help melt any light snow that may happen to fall afterward, and it will certainly make the next removal much easier and effective. Salting is a two sided coin. It rids the surface of ice and residue, but it also assists greatly in the next event.
  16. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    If you're a snow removal pro you should never let it get to that point- meaning when it starts snowing you start the route- you don't wait till the end of the storm- then you don't have that problem, at least not so much usually. If you do get ice, and it does happen- ice melt and scrape.....
  17. Smitty58

    Smitty58 Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    Ok I agree with all of this except for lawnboy's comment. If the customer won't pay for pre-treating then we ain't doing it. Around these parts most are per push based on depth and salt is a set per 50lb bag price. Some use bulk but have not seen many at all.
  18. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    hmmm...did i say to pre-treat? Nope. Do it your way and wait till it all snows, rains and freezes and see what you get...maybe a sheet of ice? Or.....plow with the storm
  19. WingPlow

    WingPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    i dont agree with that at all, we just had a storm that left 6 inches turned to sleet and then to freezing rain for about 5 hours
    the guys who scraped and scraped were left with nothing more then an ice rink on their lots or driveways, the guys who waitied till the rain stopped scraped once, salted at the end and were left with 90% bare pavement

    every storm is differant, and calls for differant things
  20. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    I dont understand how you can get 4" of accumulation packed down so bad that it cant be plowed to a reasonable condition then salted and melted to wet pavement

    Ice on top of snow is the beest way to have it it typically scrapes pretty clean

    If it is that bad then it probably should have been pretreated we only pretreat when they are calling for ice

    I have run into some pretty cheap customers but none have ever turned down a pre treat when ice is iminent