4  FM quick reads on grounds care

1. Anti-Icing and Sustainability


I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, anti-icing products and sustainability.

Grounds managers looking for more sustainable options for preventing and removing ice on paved surfaces have a range of alternatives. These alternatives include the following:
Calcium chloride. Calcium chloride is a byproduct of some chemical manufacturing processes. Proper storage is imperative — in plastic or metal bins with lids — because it absorbs water easily. When used correctly, it will not harm vegetation, but it can leave an oily, slippery residue. As a result, it might not be the product of choice around facilities with much foot traffic.
Magnesium chloride. This deicer is granular and blends with other chlorides or in a liquid solution. It is safe to use around vegetation, but crews should not apply it too heavily because it can become slippery. The granular form absorbs water quickly, so crews must store it in a dry area and seal it, or it will harden.
Potassium chloride. A good all-around deicer for pedestrian areas, potassium chloride shares the chemical makeup of some fertilizers. As a result, it is safe to use around vegetation and causes minimal impact on soil and water.
Urea. This product, also a fertilizer, comes in a granular form. When applied in recommended amounts, urea should not harm vegetation and can even promote growth. As with any product used excessively, it can lead to run-off and contamination of groundwater and ponds.
Calcium-magnesium acetate. Calcium-magnesium acetate has limited melting capabilities but is biodegradable. It can be used primarily to prevent ice formation on concrete, bridges and roads, which are sensitive to corrosion. It also helps prevent the freeze/thaw cycles that occur with other chemical treatment products.


2.  Anti-Icing Chemicals: Stopping Ice Before it Starts

I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, applying anti-icing chemicals.

Professionals involved in snow and ice management have begun to move away from using exclusively granular materials and in many cases have adopted liquid anti-icing materials as the product of choice. Why? As a pre-treatment on roadways, parking lots, and walkways, anti-icing products tend to perform better in preventing snow and ice from bonding to paved surfaces.

Liquid anti-icing products coat the surface of roads and parking lots. Once precipitation starts, the melting process begins. The primary objective of these chemicals is to keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, which provides better traction for automobiles and allows for easier removal of snow and ice down to the paved surface.

Salt, also know as sodium chloride or NaCl, is the most common and inexpensive deicer and has been the industry standard for almost a century. Unfortunately, NaCl as a deicing agent can harm the environment, including landscaped areas near pathways and parking lots, and it can cause erosion.

Today, it is common for crews to wet NaCl with a liquid agent to increase its effectiveness and reduce the amount needed. Converting rock salt to brine also is more common. Crews should never use NaCl products around electrical boxes, structural materials or anywhere safety is a priority because of the corrosion it can create.

3.  Snow and Ice Removal: Pre-Treatment Strategies

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is strategies for clearing snow and ice more effectively.

To make clearing snow and ice easier for grounds crews, managers more often pre-treat sidewalks and other paved surfaces with anti-icing products. These products help keep exterior surfaces clear and safe for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. With a better understanding of the evolution of these products, managers can develop a more successful game plan to prepare with confidence for the coming winter season.

Professionals involved in snow and ice management have begun to move away from using exclusively granular materials and in many cases have adopted liquid anti-icing materials as the product of choice. Why? As a pre-treatment on roadways, parking lots, and walkways, anti-icing products tend to perform better in preventing snow and ice from bonding to paved surfaces.

Liquid anti-icing products coat the surface of roads and parking lots. Once precipitation starts, the melting process begins. The primary objective of these chemicals is to keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, which provides better traction for automobiles and allows for easier removal of snow and ice down to the paved surface.

Salt, also know as sodium chloride or NaCl, is the most common and inexpensive deicer and has been the industry standard for almost a century. Unfortunately, NaCl as a deicing agent can harm the environment, including landscaped areas near pathways and parking lots, and it can cause erosion.

Today, it is common for crews to wet NaCl with a liquid agent to increase its effectiveness and reduce the amount needed. Converting rock salt to brine also is more common. Crews should never use NaCl products around electrical boxes, structural materials or anywhere safety is a priority because of the corrosion it can create.

4.  Seven Alternatives to Rock Salt

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is seven alternatives to rock salt.

As grounds managers fine-tune their deicing and anti-icing programs, they are seeking alternatives to rock salt, or sodium chloride. Here are seven alternatives:

Calcium chloride. Calcium chloride, or CaCl, is a byproduct of some chemical manufacturing processes. Proper storage is imperative — in plastic or metal bins with lids — because CaCl absorbs water easily.

Magnesium chloride. This deicer comes in a granular form blended with other chlorides or in a liquid solution. It is safe to use around vegetation, but crews should not apply it too heavily because it can become slippery.

Potassium chloride. A good all-around deicer for pedestrian areas, potassium chloride shares the chemical makeup of some fertilizers. As a result, it is safe for use around vegetation and causes minimal impact on soil and water sources.

Urea. This product, which is also a fertilizer, comes in a granular form. When applied in recommended amounts, urea should not harm vegetation and, in fact, can promote growth.

Calcium-magnesium acetate. Calcium-magnesium acetate has limited melting capabilities but is a biodegradable product primarily used to prevent ice formation on concrete, bridges and roads, which are sensitive to corrosion.

Liquid potassium acetate. This environmentally responsible liquid solution is another pre-treatment option that prevents snow and ice from forming on and adhering to paved surfaces. It is biodegradable and available in liquid form, and crews should apply it before a snowstorm to achieve maximum effectiveness.

M-50. This anti-icing product causes minimal environmental impact, is biodegradable, and is less corrosive than distilled water.


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grounds care , ice melt , sustainability , green

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