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Why Pre-Salt??

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by grassguy123, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. grassguy123

    grassguy123 Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 28

    Our customer is asking us to pre-salt their parking lots. I dont mind because we get paid extra but does it make our plowing easier?

    What does pre-salting do? If we are expecting 3" of snow and we salt parking lot A and we dont salt parking lot B. Will parking lot A only have 1.5" of snow and parking lot B will have 3". Is that how that works?

    So if it does make our plowing easier since salt is so cheap compared to man hours should we put a tripple layer of salt down if a big storm is expected to make plowing easier?
  2. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Right now it's 30 degrees, and we're supposed to get 1" overnight. I've already salted with hopes that:
    A. the warm temps won't cause the wet snow to freeze into ice, and
    B. In some areas there won't be any plowing necessary

    I don't pre-salt everytime, but warm temps & low accumulations both make me consider it.
  3. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    It may not necessarily equal less accumulation as you describe, but generally helps prevent the snow/ice from 'bonding' to the pavement as much. Allows the blade to scrape much cleaner, reducing the amount of salt needed after plowing, and generally making for a nicer job. Not to mention it keeps the lot safer during the storm, especially a place that sees some traffic during an event. Also as Roscoe mentioned, on light accumulations, you may be able to get away without plowing or prevent icing up. I think there are times where its well worth it, and other times, not so much. All depends on a lot of factors. Most places are too cheap to have the sense to be proactive enough to pre-salt. So be happy you have a customer actually requesting and making you some extra dough. I think a lot of guys don't do it much because it can be a hard sell to most clients. But it does help sometimes. There's a reason most state crews pre-treat the main roads before a storm with something, whether it be salt, mag, or cal. At least around here they do, usually with liquids, sometimes just rock salt.
  4. Yep BighornJD the lovely PennDot undercoating eating overtime creating liquid pretreat lol.

    To the OP as others have said main benefit is that it helps prevent the snow from bonding to pavement. May also save ya from plowing a 1" snow too if ya have a plow trigger point that low. Most of mine are salt only for 1-2". Wish I had customerspayup for pretreat. Then I could bill em 2x for a dusting on the lot
  5. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    in my opinion it has its place....we do it for high traffic sites where the snow would tend to get packed down from cars driving over it, we also "salt the piss out of" any ramps early on in a snow, makes for less snow to plow later, and helps with a little bit of traction. to the OP, if your customers are willing to pay, by all means do it, it will save a bit of labor on the final cleanup, and its more money in your pocket.
  6. jasonrose

    jasonrose Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    I got a call from one of my commercial properties yesterday asking about pre-treating the sidewalks. I didn't know if it would help or not, using granular ice melt. Hence why I'm here on plow site. Glad I found this thread. Guess I'll hop up there and do some spreading this afternoon. No precip expected here till tomorrow sometime, continuing through monday afternoon, but still light snowfall. but also no foot traffic on the property until around 8 am monday. Drawback is that it's supposed to get VERY cold by monday. Hopefully it's warm enough sunday night for the ice melt to do it's thing as the snow falls??

    Customer is quite leary about salt/ice melt because of possible concrete damage. In the past they have never wanted ice melt at all, they would just do it themselves near entries only. I will be cautious about overapplying for sure. Though I don't think I ever put as much as recommended down anyway.
  7. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    It has its place in the tool box

    Pre-treating works for us, We are all commercial though. Kinda like greasing a pan before cooking. Doesn't mean the snow will not will accumulate on top of it, if the rate is heavy enough it will. But you generally don't have it bonding to the pavement below so your plowing is more effective.

    You can generally reduce your application rate on a pre-treat as well.
  8. jasonrose

    jasonrose Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    This snow here is supposed to come down really slowly... My hopes is that with the slow rate it actually melts before it accumuliates!

    I figure if it works, and I dont have to be out there at 5:00 am, or it at least makes my job easier at that hour, I'm all for it.
  9. turfman59

    turfman59 Member
    Messages: 44

    One of our major accounts wants us to be there at trace amounts. We presalt 24 hours ahead of the projected snowfall everytime Its the only way we can keep the shipping areas free for Hi Lows to travel around outside. If there is any accumalation in those areas we would lose our account... we also spray Calcium Chloride towards the end of the season to supplement salt deliverys in March
  10. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    If you have a slow event, then pre-salting can most certainly burn it off as it comes down. I'd suggest trying out a treated product--will work even better in this type of situation, and the resulting brine will continue to work after the salt has melted.

    When I've done snow removal over the years, I am pretty fanatical about pre salting commercial stuff. It has saved us on several occasions where the storm ramped up much more than expected, and we had deadlines to meet. The pre-salting reduced the bonding enough to cut plowing time significantly, which resulted in us not needing to spend an excessive amount of time at each location fighting the extra accumulation. I should mention that we also were running newer blades with excellent cutting edges--it makes a world of difference.

  11. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Why pre-salt. Mostly because it doesn't stick and pack to the pavement.,..cleaner job when done, uses less overall total salt, but

    --because we can then charge them twice for it and make double