First the benefits of salters. They can apply salt to a large area evenly. When used properly they can reduce a properties salt consumption and are a great help to the enviroment. They are however not always used properly. They can create more problems than solutions. If you are a person who is in charge of tendering for snow it is a good idea to get professional advice about contract language and to be aware of what can be done to minimize damage to your property. Language to regulate the use of salters and amount of salt used is easy to do.
Please note. Schepers Property Maintenance does not expect to be expanding this winter. The posts on winter maintenance are NOT to solicit more clients. We only have room for one or two more commercial clients and about 7 residential and we do not overbook. Therefore these considerations are a community service. We are willing to consult with those in charge of the tendering of winter.
The pictures above are NOT caused by a salter being used improperly. These pictures will be used again when I briefly talk on considerations for dealing with sudden temperature changes, how salt tracks and proper plowing procedures. The drive thru lanes that these shots depict are good examples of where a salter is not helpful, where it tends to waste salt and damage infrastructure.
To salt these lanes by hand, properly putting the salt down the center, would take less than 30 seconds. It would use less salt. In fact it is likely that I would simply salt the entrance and the corner of the lane and let the cars do the work for me. (on most days) By running a salter through a confined space like this you are distributing salt to the edges and most of the salt will sit there and be ineffective. Not only is this a waste but the salt that sits at the curb will damage the concrete curbing. Salt will be spread above the curb as well which puts it up against any building brick and or into the gardens.
Make sure salt is not spread in confined places like loading docks and lanes by a spreader. Stipulate that salt is to be properly placed by hand.
To use a salter to spread salt from a the parking area towards a building is extremely poor practice. One rule of thumb is simply that you never want salt to sit anywhere as the longer it sits the more damage it does. By spreading FROM the lane towards the building you are applying salt directly against some of the most vulnerable places on your property. Building foundations and brick work are NOT salt tolerant and are extremely vulnerable. They will fail. They will look awful. Schepers Property Maintenance spreads BY HAND from the walk to the parking area and in fact applies salt to the asphalt immediately adjacent to the curb. Salters are not very effective in corners and most of the critical corners are adjacent to the building; corners where the handicap parking is placed for example. These spots and corners are managed by hand. This does take some work to train and to develop the easiest “system” to do effectively but it has proven to actually save time and salt.
Look over your property and make a list of areas that are ineffective to use the salt spreaders on. How can you stipulate hand application of salt in these areas? (ask us)
Tip number 1 can be viewed at this link. http://scheperspropertymaintenance.ca/2014/08/27/salt/
Please note. All our tips are kept short and come out of 30 years experience.