Treating the Outside of Your Facility for Snow & Ice

 It’s winter in the Midwest. Not only is it cold but temperatures are freezing and can cause torturous environments for commercial buildings. Conditions during these colder months require that facility managers step up their game when it comes to snow and ice removal and maintaining a safe exterior. In fact, it’s imperative to take extra precautions to keep a facility safe and help prevent slips and falls.

Shovel & Salt!

First, the sidewalks need to be thoroughly shoveled. Salt, ice melt, whatever you call it, cannot do it’s job if the shoveling isn’t done first. It’s imperative to treat parking lots, walkways, sidewalks, stairs, and loading docks that get frequent public use.

Not salting with the right product at the right times can be a real liability for facilities. There are different types of chemicals in ice melt products making them affective in different conditions. Check out this Ice Melt Comparison Guide. Consider the budget, temperature, and type of surface that it will be applied to before selecting a product.

Below are some tips for applying salt from our partner HP Products.

  1. Do not use on concrete less than two years old– Freeze-thaw damage may occur.
  2. Apply in advance of a winter storm– Early attention before a storm will help prevent freeze-thaw scaling of surfaces. When the snow starts falling, the ice melt will create a brine solution, preventing ice and snow from bonding to the surface.
  3. Disperse properly – Contrary to popular opinion, using large amounts of ice melt does not affect the speed which ice and snow melts. Using too much product can damage surfaces and harm the environment.
  4. Use a mechanical spreaderfor accurate coverage – The proper coverage rate is about one cup per square yard. This coverage will fan out and undercut the ice, so that you can shovel the walkway clear.
  5. Continue to disperse ice melt during a storm– This helps to prevent snow from becoming hard-packed on surfaces.

Overall, when it comes to preventing slips and falls outside at a school, clinic, restaurant or other public facility, be proactive. Pay attention to weather reports during the winter. Be prepared to treat the appropriate areas.

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