As the weather outside gets colder and we approach Winter, that can only mean one thing, snow and ice is on its way.

We receive a lot of questions about our processes for gritting and our reasons behind doing it, so in this blog, we are here to answer some of our most frequently asked maintenance and weather related questions.

Why is there a difference between road and air temperature?

The temperature of our roads is often hotter than the air surrounding them due to it retaining heat from the sun longer. Roads also do not cool down quickly like cars, which is why you may find your car covered in frost while the roads are clear. For this reason, we use road surface temperatures to determine gritting rather than depending on air temperature changes alone.

Why do councils not grit all roads?

In the UK, councils are responsible for 225,000 miles of roads. To grit all these roads would cost an extra ​hundreds of millions of​ pounds.

Plus, roads are either too cramped or hilly for de-icing lorries to get through. So, councils explore other methods like providing neighbourhood grit bins to residents and teaming up with parish councils and community groups to clear more residential or hard-to-reach areas. They also partner with farmers so they can take care of rural areas themselves.

If someone falls on a path or pavement I haven’t cleared, can I be sued?

Although no law says people have to clear pavements or public spaces, ministers have said it’s a good deed and encourage citizens to use their best judgement.

In other words, “common sense” should always be used when deciding whether or not to sue someone for injury caused by negligence.

Will the council do it for me if I don’t clear my pavement?

The law says councils must keep the roads safe and must grit when necessary. This means that if your path is considered a hazard and is preventing people from using the pavement, then the council may take action. However, they are not obliged to clear every pavement in their area. If you can clear your own path, it is appreciated but not required.

Gritting Lincoln

How do we decide when to grit?

By utilising sources like Real Weather, we are always aware of changing weather conditions. We start the operation when we forecast and predict that temperatures, especially road surface temperature, are around 2-7 degrees lower than the air temperature.

When do we start gritting?

To avoid hazardous road conditions, we spread salt on roads before ice or snow begins to fall, which is known as precautionary salting.

We typically spread the salt in advance of a forecasted sub-zero temperature drop and freezing conditions so that we can prevent ice formation (which is much better than waiting to treat already formed ice/fallen snow)

This is why you may see our gritters out even when the roads are perfectly fine.

How often do we grit?

The frequency of gritting varies depending on the severity and forecast of the weather. For example, during a light dusting of snow, we would only need to grit once or twice. However, during a prolonged cold snap, we may need to grit much more regularly.

But don’t worry about all this. You can focus on other things this winter – like having fun! While we handle keeping your property safe from ice and snow.

As experts in this field, you can trust us to take care of everything for you.

Make sure to get in touch today to create your own Winter maintenance plan, with us.