The UK’s famously unpredictable climates mean that there’s no such thing as being too prepared for the start of the winter weather. We’ve had snow in March and sunshine in December before now. We’ve put together our Ultimate Fact Sheet for winter salt spreading to ensure that you know the importance of winter maintenance solutions.

The purpose of rock salt (grit) is to prevent frost forming on our surfaces. It’s used across the country as our go-to frost prevention and is widely effective. Here we tell you what it is, when you should be using it and how much of it you should be using.

Why?
The reason that we use rock salt is that its’ freezing point is lower than that of water. It can withstand the cold temperatures without becoming dangerous to walk and drive over. By spreading rock salt on our surfaces, as our tyres or feet tread over it, the crystals crush and then disperse across the ice causing a reaction within the water molecules and rock salt which stops the formation of ice.

As with everything, rock salt has a limit. On temperatures below -5C rock salt will have limited effects and temperatures below -10C virtually no effect whatsoever. Rock salt comes in 2 varieties; brown grit and white pure salt. Each type has its’ own individual benefits.

Brown Rock Salt
Brown rock salt is drier and therefore easier to spread. It’s also cheaper with a lower carbon footprint in comparison to pure white rock salt. It gives good grip on surfaces but can make them dirty due to the consistency and colour. You’ll often find brown rock salt in hidden areas, such as the back of buildings or paths that aren’t used by many people.

Pure White Rock Salt
White rock salt is cleaner than brown. It creates no dirty residue afterwards and leaves no stains. The main benefit of pure white rock salt is that it’s more pleasing on the eye – this is why we recommend it for use near main entrances to buildings.

When?
We always use rock salt before freezing temperatures occur. We are constantly monitoring the weather forecast to ensure that we grit at the right time. By doing this, it prevents snow and rain from freezing on surfaces.

How much?
There are a few factors which determine how much grit needs to be used. The primary factors are the temperature and the location. An example would be a steep hill or sharp bend in the road. These areas will benefit from more rock salt in comparison to a flat surface or long straight in a road. The hill and the bend are more prone to skids, slips and accidents in the bad weather therefore require a heavier volume of grit being used to ensure their safety.

Per square metre, we recommend 10-15 grams is spread. This is as a general rule and changes depending on the temperature and location. This can increase to between 20 and 40 grams when weather conditions become more severe. Other factors that can lead to this increase are the time the rain has fallen. If it’s fallen before freezing temperatures occur, it can wash away rock salt.

 

For more information on gritting and winter maintenance solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch today!

 

Call us on 07748 657302

Email us on info@parrcontracting.co.uk

Facebook discover the page here