5 Winter Advice for Using Liquid De-Icer
Every winter, people have to deal with snow and ice – that’s the unfortunate reality of Old Man Winter. For decades, salt has been the universal deicer to kick him to the curb. However, it is not the ideal solution mainly because of its slow action and because large quantities are required for effective results.
In addition, salt can be easily knocked off the road by wind and cars, and it also has harmful effects on the environment. In simple words, salt is not always the first choice when you need to de-ice.
Today, we have several other products that can be used to manage and prevent ice formation on the roads- namely liquid de-icers. These liquid deicers not only have a rapid action but they can also penetrate the pores on the surface of the road thus making it more difficult for them to be knocked off the roadside. Much less material is required to melt the ice, which results in lower costs.
Here are five things you should know about liquid de-icing this winter:
1. The Storm is Nigh
For liquid deicers to work, they should be applied before a snowstorm approaches. The liquid deicers are much more effective at preventing ice formation. Melting already formed ice with a liquid de-icer can take some time. But if it’s applied before the ice formation, the amount required is much less.
2. Water is Your Enemy
Another feature of liquid deicer is that when it is applied, it penetrates the surface of the pavement. When a predicted ice storm does not occur, the liquid deicer is not lost but will remain in the pavement for the next winter storm, as long as it does not rain.
Indeed, water can remove the liquid deicer.
3. Less is Truly More
The initial purchase price of liquid deicer is more than if you were to buy bulk rock salt. However, liquid deicers are cheaper in the long run because unlike salt, less material is required and thus a decreased amount has to be stored or carried in the truck.
And, because liquid deicers work efficiently, you need much less amount than rock salt. Therefore, for regular use and in the long-run, the liquid deicer is more cost effective.
4. Yay for Science!
When a liquid deicer is applied before ice forms, the chemical reaction between the pavement and snow prevents solid ice formation. As a result, the snow is soft and easy to plow, which saves time. Other benefits of using a liquid deicer are that unlike salt, the road markings are still visible and this can result in fewer motor vehicle collisions.
5. Follow the Instructions
The key feature about liquid deicers is that they must be used according to the usage instructions stated by the manufacturer. These products work best at specified temperatures. If liquid deicers are used outside the performance temperatures, the results will not be effective. All manufacturers supply contractors with the performance tables and listed temperatures when the liquid deicer should be applied.
It is also important to measure the ground temperature and not the ambient environment temperature before using liquid deicers.
Is liquid deicer the only remedy? For people who live in the frigid climates of Canada and Northern U.S., there is no one deicer that works all the time. If the snow storm is severe, one may have to use a combination of rock salt and a liquid deicer. But for the most part, liquid de-icers can help one get through a regular winter without any hassles.
The only way to learn and gain experience with liquid deicers is first to try it on a small scale. Because there are several types of liquid deicers on the market, things can get confusing. The best way to know which one to buy is to ask for the performance data and talk to contractors who have used it.