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Salt/Sand Mix %'s

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DCS MN, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. DCS MN

    DCS MN Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    I was sick of paying a sub to do what I could do so now I am learning on the fly. I am dealing with a customer and we are trying to keep cost down by mixing salt/sand.
    I guess I am wondering what the best of both worlds is.

    I can readily buy 10%-20% salt mixes but does not melt the ice well. What does everyone else use? If I use salt can I put less down? ussmileyflag
  2. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    The sand percentage is not going to melt anything. I mix my own. 30-35% salt. None of my lots are black. A sand/salt mix is for traction and safety. The Town used sand/salt on all our side streets and they are all snow covered. If you want to melt everything to black you need straight salt IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  3. snowplowchick

    snowplowchick Senior Member
    Messages: 549

    When I use pickled sand, I use 5:1 ratio sand/salt mix and it melts off well in high traffic areas. If you get lots of sun the darker sand also attracts the sun's heat and helps to melt the snow pack underneath the layer of sand/salt.

    I think most people who request sand/salt mix are not looking for black, wet surfaces they want traction. If you scrape the pack when it gets messy and reapply it works well.
  4. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    There will be environmental concerns with sand........check with the city or towns you intend on using it. Around here it is a no-no. Even if a property manager says it's ok to use it on their property, that's no defense for you. You are expected to know better (as the professional who applied it). You can be fined and back charged for the environmental clean up of the storm drains if local ordinances dictate.
  5. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    I would try to talk them out of such request. Maybe suggest only treating part(s) of the lot with straight salt insted. IMO spreading sand on a parking lot is pointless. I can see on a roadway to give traction, but in a private lot where the goal is to melt everything, sand just makes a bigger mess.
  6. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    treated sand helps a little but, boy is it messy and tracks into the building
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I have mixed it as cold as 8 or 10 to 1 and it doesn't freeze. It keeps the cost way down, and gives the color that some of my customers are looking for. You can wind it down cheap, which is what most people want anyway. Also, for sanding gravel drives or roads, you don't want much salt IMO. It doesn't do much for melting ice though. When I want to de-ice hot top or pretreat, straight salt is the way to go. My friend mixes about 3 or 4 to 1. All his sanding is for paved commercial accounts.
  8. DCS MN

    DCS MN Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    My next question is about the different colors of salt...blue, green, white, what do the different colors do?
  9. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    All the colored salts are treated. The colors are different manufacturers. They work at a lower temperature and you are supposed to use less. They are also quite a bit more money. I use Clearlane(green) on our sidewalks.