The annual battle against ice buildup is on! Many business will choose to use salt as their main strategy to combat this wintertime safety hazard. Although it's quick and easy to disperse salt over slippery areas, it does have negative impacts on the pavement in your parking lot, the vehicles that park there, and for the environment. These effects won't be as severe if you take action to reduce your use of salt to control ice this winter.

Salt Eats Away at Concrete and Asphalt

Using salt can cause a lot of damage to concrete and asphalt. Salt combines with melting snow and becomes very acidic. Over time this ­erodes the integrity of sidewalks, driveways, and roads. It wears away the surface and exposed aggregate which in turn accelerates the deterioration of the paving material.

Salt Damages Grass and Plants

Too much sodium can be tremendously harmful to the environment. When you put down salt and the snow melts, it is absorbed into the roots of grass and plants that are nearby and may accumulate to toxic levels. You might find grass, hedges, and flowers by your building unable to thrive in the spring because of the salt used to control ice during the winter. Using more labor-intensive methods, rock chips and sand to manage ice and snow is much better for the environment.

Salt Can Impact Groundwater

There is a lot of evidence to support the concern of the impact of salt on groundwater. In the spring, salty water leeches into the ground and deposits so much sodium into the water it makes it undrinkable. Salt also gets into the wastewater system taking more advanced technology and time to treat the water. This puts enormous pressure on drinking water supplies.

Salt Can Cause Rust on Vehicles

The salt that you spread on your property can cause damage to vehicles that visit your business. Salt corrodes the paint and the metal on the underside of automobiles. Degradation of paint and protective coatings will eventually lead to unsightly rust. Your business can help to reduce the effects of salt on cars and trucks by having a snow removal company to decrease the salt content when clearing your parking lot and sidewalks.

What Can I Use Instead of Salt?

While most snow removal companies will use salt to help manage ice; there are many alternatives to help reduce the amount of salt being used:

-Rock chips: Provide traction for vehicles and pedestrians by laying down gravel and rock chips in slippery areas.

-Sand: Sand won't melt ice, but it provides traction. It can also be more cost effective than gravel for large properties.

-Calcium Chloride: For an option that is less corrosive and more environmentally friendly, you can apply Calcium Chloride to deal with ice buildup.

If you want to know more about your ice management options, give Rockland a call at 780-239-7625, or send us an e-mail: and we will answer all of your questions.