During the tumultuous – or, depending your point of view, beautiful – winter season, the majority of Canadians will use some type of de-icer to minimize ice’s impact. However, these products work best when they are applied to the pavement, roads and walking paths before the ice begins to precipitate. This helps decrease the cost and time of personnel involved in anti-icing. Bully for you!
For most of the past 50 years, the de-icers used on North American roads have been salt, sand and woodchips. You know? The usual.
That said, these products tend to have major adverse effects on the environment and lead to significant rust and corrosion of homes, roads and motor vehicles. This is why you need to realize as quickly as possible that one alternate de-icer that is being considered is liquid.
A classic liquid de-icer is one that is used in the windshield washers. Now the same principle is being applied to deice the roads. For those who live in a North American climate where ice precipitation on the roads is a frequent occurrence, liquid de-icers have become a must-have between November and April – or even into May.
Here are five important things to know about liquid de-icers before using them:
1. Less Material is Required
One of the first facts about liquid de-icers is that much less material is needed as compared to the solid de-icers. The reason is that liquid de-icers penetrate the small pores on the road surfaces and pavement and are not affected by the motor vehicle traffic. Solid de-icers are constantly knocked off the road before they can begin to work which can result in wastage.
2. You’ll Spend Less Money
In general, liquid de-icers cost a lot more than rock salt. However, one needs to assess the big picture: rock salt has to be applied many times, there is a lot of wastage and its effects are not consistent. If applied after the ice has formed, it takes time to de-ice and all this adds to more workload, manpower and lowered efficiency.
With liquid de-icers, you are only required to apply it once before the ice precipitates, and this saves a lot of money as no repeat treatments are needed.
3. Less Plowing Time Equals More You Time
When the liquid de-icer is applied before a snow event, the chemicals prevent the formation of a bond between the pavement and the snow. This results in the loose snow that can be easily plowed and removed very quickly. This all leads to less plow time and after removal of the ice.
Who doesn’t want to spend less time hanging out with Old Man Winter?
4. It Works Much Faster
Liquid de-icers tend to work a lot faster than the solid de-icers like salt. Once applied to the ground or pavement, the liquid de-icer will immediately prevent ice formation. On the other hand, solid de-icers often have to be applied many hours ahead of time in order to work.
The one key fact about liquid de-icers is that they can be washed away when it is raining, which means they are best applied when there is no rain.
In order to use liquid de-icers effectively, one must be knowledgeable about the product and know how to use it. The liquids come in several different concentrations and are to be used at different temperatures. If they are used randomly for all temperatures the product will not work.
5. You Can Help the Environment
Overall, the effects of liquid de-icers on the environment is a lot safer and less associated with destruction or rusting of cars, buildings and the soil. Salt is known to enhance rust formation, corrosion and can lead to the destruction of the environment.
Finally, it is important to know that there is no magic bullet for de-icing, and sometimes one may require more than one product. However, to make the process efficient, it is also crucial to know when to use which product and when combinations will help.