Winter weather can cause a variety of problems, especially for businesses and commercial properties. What happens when someone slips on a patch of ice outside your store? Or if you can’t reach the front of your property? Snow and ice accumulation can lead to slip-and-fall accidents, property damage, decreased accessibility, and more. Effective snow and ice management is essential for preventing these issues, and one strategy we’ve found to be particularly beneficial is pretreating walks with liquid de-icers. In this article we'll explore the benefits and effectiveness of using liquid de-icers for pretreating walks, tips for effective application, and the products our experts at Ninja De-Icer recommend using.
Why Pretreating Before Storm Is Important?
Pretreating surfaces like walks, parking lots, and building entries is an essential step in managing snow and ice effectively. By applying liquid de-icers before a snow or ice event, businesses can prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement and forming hard-packed ice. This makes it easier to remove snow and ice with snow plows and shovels and reduces the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Additionally, liquid de-icers can create a barrier between the pavement and incoming snow and ice, reducing the likelihood of ice forming in the first place. This can help businesses save time, money, and resources while ensuring the safety and accessibility of their property.
When It’s the Best Time to Pretreat for Snow and Ice?
The best time to apply snow and ice pretreatment liquids is ideally 24 to 48 hours before a winter event. This allows the liquid de-icer to fully dry and form a protective barrier on the surface, which helps to prevent the snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. It is important to note that the temperature at the time of application should be above 15°F, as liquids may not be as effective in colder temperatures. Depending on the specific product you are using, if the temperature is too low the liquid de-icer may freeze before it can start working, wasting time and money.
Advantages of Pretreating Walks with Liquids
Should you pretreat for snow? To ensure safety and accessibility during winter, businesses should consider pretreating walks with commercial snow pretreatment liquids. Doing so before a snow event can provide many benefits, which we’re breaking down for you below.
One of the primary benefits of pretreating walks with liquids is improved safety. Liquid de-icers can prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, making it easier to remove with snow plows and shovels. This also helps prevent the formation of hard-packed ice, which can be very difficult to remove and poses a significant slip-and-fall risk.
According to the National Safety Council, slip-and-fall accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States. In fact, slips, trips, and falls account for over 1 million emergency department visits each year. These accidents can be especially costly for businesses, as they can lead to lawsuits, increased insurance rates, and lost productivity. By pretreating walks with liquids, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents and the associated costs.
In addition to the safety benefits, using liquid de-icers for pretreatment can also have positive environmental impacts. Traditional snow and ice removal methods often involve large amounts of salt and other chemicals being applied, which can have negative effects on the environment. Salt can contaminate waterways and harm plants and animals, while other chemicals can contribute to air pollution and other environmental problems.
Liquid de-icers, on the other hand, can be much more environmentally friendly. Many liquid de-icers are made from natural materials, such as beet juice or potassium acetate, which can be much safer for the environment than traditional de-icing chemicals. In fact, at Ninja De-Icer, we pride ourselves on offering environmentally friendly alternatives to the typical harsh chemicals you’ll see from de-icers distributors. Additionally, because liquid de-icers can help prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, they can reduce the amount of salt and other chemicals needed after a winter event.
Using liquid de-icers for pretreatment can also have a variety of economic benefits. First and foremost, by reducing the amount of salt and other chemicals needed for snow and ice removal, businesses can save money on materials and equipment costs. Additionally, because liquid de-icers can help prevent ice from forming, they can reduce the amount of time and labor needed for snow and ice removal, resulting in lower labor costs and increased efficiency.
One study conducted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found that pretreating walks with liquid de-icers could result in significant cost savings. The study estimated that using liquid deicers could reduce salt usage by up to 50%, resulting in annual cost savings of over $20,000 for a typical commercial property. These savings can be especially significant for businesses with large parking lots, walkways, and building entries, which can require significant amounts of salt and other de-icing products.
Are There Any Drawbacks of Pretreatment Before Snowy Weather?
While pretreating surfaces with liquids can be an effective strategy for managing snow and ice, there are some situations where it may not be the best approach. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to pretreat surfaces with liquids:
- Temperature: Liquid de-icers are generally most effective at temperatures above 15°F. If you want to use liquids in colder temperatures, add calcium or magnesium to your salt brine to improve its effectiveness in lower temperatures.
- Severity: If a snow or ice event is expected to be very light, it may not be necessary to pretreat surfaces. Additionally, if there’s already snow or ice on the ground, pretreating may not be as effective.
- Type of surface: Some surfaces may be more sensitive to liquid de-icers than others. For example, some types of concrete can be damaged by certain de-icers.
- Environmental concerns: While liquid de-icers can be more environmentally friendly than traditional de-icing methods, some products may still have negative impacts on the environment. It's important to choose de-icers that are appropriate for the area being treated and to use them responsibly. If you’re concerned about this, our team at Ninja De-Icer is ready to help!
In general, pretreating surfaces with liquids can be an effective strategy for managing snow and ice, but it's important to consider the specific conditions and needs of the area being treated before deciding whether or not to use this approach. Trust the professionals from Ninja to guide you when seeking the best solution.
How to Apply Pretreatment Liquids
To effectively pretreat walks with liquid deicers, it's vital to use the right products and know how to pretreat sidewalks for snow properly. When applying liquid de-icers, it's important to use the right equipment to ensure even coverage. Liquid de-icers can be applied using a variety of methods, including spray systems and liquid spreaders. Spray systems can be effective for applying de-icers to smaller areas, while spreaders can be more efficient for larger areas. It's important to ensure that the liquid de-icer is applied evenly and that the pavement is allowed to dry before snow or ice accumulates. It's also essential to properly calibrate liquid de-icer spreaders to achieve the best result and the greatest efficiency.
There are a variety of liquid de-icers available, each with their own pros and cons. The most common liquid for pretreatment is using simple salt brine, which is water and salt mixed together. Below are some other options you can use:
- Potassium acetate-based de-icers are another popular option. These deicers are made from a salt alternative that is derived from acetic acid, which is commonly found in vinegar. Potassium acetate-based deicers are effective at melting ice in temperatures as low as -20°F and are less corrosive than traditional salt-based deicers. They are also biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
- Magnesium chloride-based deicers are some of our best sellers, as they’re effective at melting ice at temperatures as low as -13°F and can be effective for up to 24 hours. However, unless treated with a corrosion inhibitor like our products are, they are more corrosive and should be used with caution in areas with metal infrastructure or vehicles.
- Beet juice-based deicers are becoming increasingly popular due to their environmental friendliness. These de-icers are made from the juice of sugar beets, which contains natural deicing properties. But you need to know that its high sugar content can also negatively impact water sources and wildlife. Although beet juice-based deicers are gaining popularity, they may not be the most effective and cheap option for pretreating surfaces. If you want to try beet juice as a deicer, it's better to mix it with calcium or magnesium-based additives.
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Final Thoughts on Using Liquid De-icers for Pretreating Walks
Using liquid de-icers for pretreating walks can be an effective strategy for managing snow and ice in commercial settings. Choosing liquid de-icers at Ninja De-Icer can provide a variety of benefits including improved safety, reduced environmental impact, and increased cost savings.
By choosing the right products and application methods, businesses can improve their snow and ice management strategies and reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents and other snow-related issues. If you're looking for an effective liquid de-icer for pretreating walks and other areas, contact our team at Ninja to get a quote today. Our liquid de-icers can provide effective results in even the harshest winter weather conditions.