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De-icing Salt – When Should You Use It?

07 July 2022

Jennie Hollingsworth

You can always trust the UK to deliver when it comes to cold, wet weather. A classic British winter wouldn’t be the same without the same trials and tribulations dealing with frosted cars, icy roads and the occasional covering of snow.

 

Using de-icing products can help you out when you’re faced with ice. They can help make areas safer, preventing accidents at work and at home.

 

Learn more about using de-icing salt and when you should use it, below.

 

What is de-icing salt?

De-icing salt is a useful product that helps stop ice from forming. It is often used on roads and pavement, drives and car parks to help prevent ice from causing hazards for drivers and pedestrians.

 

It’s widely used by businesses and domestic customers to keep areas clear and safe as the temperatures drop. De-icing salt is a fine grade of marine salt that performs well and is clean for easy maintenance.

 

How does salt melt ice?

Using salt to de-ice is widely recognised. Many businesses, councils and residential areas will have salt stocks stored in weather-proof boxes ready to use during the winter months.

 

Water freezes at 0°. At this temperature, water on the ground starts to turn to ice, with some water remaining above the ice. If the temperatures drop further, the remaining water will freeze too.

 

Adding salt to the water lowers its freezing point, making it harder for the water to freeze. The compounds within salt prevent the water’s molecules from bonding together so that ice can form.

 

Will table salt melt ice?

Table salt is capable of melting ice. Many people use it to melt ice at their domestic properties. Table salt is effective at melting ice, although de-icing salt is better suited to using with spreaders, as table salt can jam.

 

Using de-icing salt over table salt can be preferable as it is finer and can be spread more easily. De-icing salt also benefits from anti-caking treatments, and won’t leave any residue behind that can look unsightly in car parks or on cars themselves.

 

When should you use de-icing salt?

Keeping an eye on the forecast is important at any stage, especially when you’re a business owner or building manager. Knowing what lies ahead can help you prepare so that you can get your workplace ready and provide advice to employees.

 

Gritting companies stay alert to ice and snow conditions, helping them spring into action as needed. Using de-icing salt before the adverse weather is the recommended course of action. This is because the ice or snow that lands on top of the salt will melt from underneath, aided by foot traffic and wheels that compress the ice into the salt, speeding up the process.

 

Adding salt on top of ice or snow will work to melt from above, and may take longer to melt. After ice has formed or snow has fallen, people may be less likely to leave their homes, so there’ll be no helping hand to get the ice to melt.

 

How to prepare for icy weather conditions

During the winter, it’s important to monitor the forecast for details of freezing temperatures and snow, helping you spring into action as needed. Some of the ways you can prepare for icy weather conditions include:

 

  • Stock up on grit salt products like salt packs, spreaders and shovels. Being prepared at the start of the winter season will ensure you can respond quickly to weather warnings.
  • Make sure there’s adequate lighting around your premises. Consult with your employees and check the lighting levels at different times of the day. It will get darker earlier in winter, and this should be factored into any times lights around your building.
  • Compile a risk assessment that considers both drivers and pedestrians. All entrance points, ramps and parking areas should be mapped out for places to grit when icy weather is due to hit.
  • Invest in signage that can be put out to warn people of potentially icy conditions.
  • Set policies for conditions where your building may need to shut and staff are advised to stay home.

 

Buy de-icing salt salt and products from phs Direct

De-icing products are one of the most effective ways of keeping your workplace safe during periods of cold weather. Having advance supplies will benefit you in the even of unexpected weather, but you may not always have everything you need.

 

At phs Direct, we stock essential cold weather items to help you protect your workplace. You can buy individual packs of de-icing salt, or you can order pallets to boost your supplies. We also stock de-icing accessories including salt bins, grit spreaders and shovels, ensuring you’ve got everything you need to see your business through winter. You can get your supplies in a hurry, and benefit from free delivery when you spend over £125. Contact the phs Direct sales team on 01827 255 500 to learn more about our products.

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