Though the sun may be shining and the weekend forecast looks like Spring, those of us in Ohio and other cold weather states know that winter is right around the corner.
Soon enough we’ll be waking up to an icy white wonderland and the sudden realization we’re going to have to clear out a path for our cars. Or, perhaps after a long day at the office, we’ll walk outside to discover we’ve been packed in by an errant snow plow.
While being snowed-in was a welcome occurrence in childhood, being stranded as an adult is decidedly less appealing – especially when you’re trapped at work.
Which is why those of us battle-hardened by inclement weather know how important it is to prepare beforehand.
Image courtesy of Groundhog’s Day. Giphy.
Coupling the regular use of rock salt or a liquid de-icer with a snow plow service can help guarantee that both you and your employees aren’t left stranded or injured this winter season.
And to help, we’ve compiled a simple guide to the products and services that can stop old man winter in his tracks.
Anti-icing and Deicing: Getting the Most Out of Your Salt
Most people are familiar with the sight of a salt truck meandering down the highway before a big snow. This is part of a preventative practice known as anti-icing. Anti-icing is the process of spreading salt on roads and parking lots before a winter storm to help halt the spread of ice. As it begins to snow the salt reacts to the moisture, liquefying and expanding to create a protective layer. This layer keeps the area “hot,” by lowering the freezing temperature of water.
Along with anti-icing, it’s recommended to go back over an area again following snow removal. This process is known as deicing.
With both anti-icing and deicing it’s important to consider three things:
- How big is the area you need to cover?
- How cold is it going to get?
- How often will you need to apply?
Salt comes in a variety of sizes and “temperatures,” which can affect both the size of the area you cover and how regularly you need to reapply.
While your basic rock salt will typically melt ice and snow down to 5° F, other types of specialized salt like Calcium Chloride can melt ice and snow down to -25° F. So it’s important to consider where you live and how low the temperatures are likely to drop.
Similarly, the size of salt particles can affect their efficiency. The larger the particle the heavier it will be, which means it’s likely to sink down further when spread over snow. So if you’re attempting to combat multiple layers when deicing, bigger particles may help simplify the process.
Not sure which type would work best for you? Check out this video break down on salt types and how they work.
And if you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly form of ice-removal, you can also utilize a product like Nature’s Aid Liquid De-Icer. Nature’s Aid works in temperatures as low as -15 ° F and can be used in both anti-icing and deicing, as well as a pre-wetting product for regular rock salt. Pre-wetting rock salt can help cut down on the amount of salt used by nearly 30%!
Just remember, regardless of what type of bulk salt you’re buying, store your bags in an area free of moisture!
Snow Removal: Finding the Right Local Service
When searching for a local snow removal service, there are usually three questions people ask:
- Where can I find them?
- How much do they cost?
- How often do they plow?
To find a snow plow company that’s able to meet your needs, it’s important to take the time and shop around; because if a sudden winter storm erupts, you don’t want to have to wait hours or even days for your provider to come in and bail you out.
Instead, be sure to research the local companies in your area. A simple Google search can provide you with a lot of key information – including the company’s rating, insurance status, payment terms, and list of services.
For commercial snow plow services, insurance helps guarantee the safety of both you and your employees, as well as the safety of your company. Before you hire anyone, make sure the possibility of property damage and other safety hazards are fully-covered.
You should also make sure that you fully understand the payment terms and calculation of costs. Can you pay monthly? What about the entire season? Or do they charge based on the number of times they come out?
Typically, most snow removal services calculate costs by 5 criteria:
- Area size
- Equipment Used
- Response Time
- Any extras (like deicing)
Try to have an idea of your company’s needs beforehand, which will help in eliminating a few would-be candidates from your list.
And if you still have questions, don’t be afraid to call a company and ask!
You can also use that time to inquire about their extra services. Chances are they do more than just snow plowing.
Finally, once you have everything set, be sure to get it in writing! You never want to be surprised by unexpected charges.
And if you’re in the Northeast Ohio area, feel free to look us up!
Should I hire someone for snow removal?
6 Steps to Finding a Snow Plow Service
A Snow and Ice Management Guide to De-Icing Materials
How to Hire a Reputable Snow Removal Service