Sand and Salt Application Services
Best Sand and Salt Application Services and Cost in Omaha NE
Nebraska Snow Removal
Sand and Salt Application services near Omaha NE: Looking for Sand and Salt Application services near Omaha NE? Nebraska Snow Removal is the source to keep our roads safe in the winter months, the City uses both sand and salt (sodium chloride) to help make winter travel safe for motorists and pedestrians throughout the City. Cost? Free estimates! Send us a message or call us today. Best Sand and Salt Application Services around Omaha NE. We serve Omaha NE and other areas. Get a Free Quote Now!
SAND AND SALT APPLICATION SERVICES OMAHA NE
Sand and Salt Application Strategies
Sand and Salt Application services near Omaha NE: Ice control on parking lots requires some capital investment. While a truck is needed, it does not necessarily need to be a truck outfitted with a plow. In fact, there are some compelling arguments that having a truck plow and salt is not an effective use of resources.
Salting and Sanding
To keep our roads safe in the winter months, the City uses both sand and salt (sodium chloride) to help make winter travel safe for motorists and pedestrians throughout the City. What we use to keep the roads from being slippery depends on the temperature and the type of road.
Temperature and Type of Application
Zero to minus 12 degrees Celsius-Road salt in the form of brine (salt/water solution) or rock salt is typically applied to achieve bare pavement conditions.
Colder than minus 12 degrees Celsius-Sand is applied when temperatures are too cold for salt to be effective.
Impact of Road Salt on the Environment
The City’s use of road salt is relatively low when compared to other jurisdictions in Omaha NE. The graph below shows the City uses about three times more sand than salt each year.
Citywide Total Salt and Sand Usage.
Sand and Salt Application services near Omaha NE: The City mitigates the impact of road salt on the environment by minimizing its use of salt while still maintaining safe roads for motorists and pedestrians. This has been done through many efforts such as:
- Periodic review of industry best practices;
- Continuous education and training of City and Contract personnel;
- Periodic updating of the City’s Salt Management Plan;
- Optimizing responses to winter weather events;
- Reducing the number of roads that received salt in accordance with the City’s winter maintenance policy;
- Improving salt application equipment; and
- Increasing public awareness of how road salt is used in the City.
Which Works Best – Salt or Sand For Ice Removal?
When managing ice removal on Omaha NE area sidewalks and roads, people have bantered for years about the effectiveness and environmental effects of sand vs. salt. But it’s actually a version of the proverbial apples to oranges. In actuality, only one results in ice removal, the other makes winter ice more navigable.
How Salt Works for Ice Management
Technically speaking, salt does not melt ice. It lowers the point at which water freezes, so it’s best to apply it to parking lots, sidewalks, and roads either before ice has formed, or after it has been cleared away to prevent re-freezing. In other words, salt is meant to be proactive for ice management – Stop ice before it starts.
Several types of salt can be used: sodium chloride (rock salt), calcium chloride, or calcium magnesium. According to Consumer Reports rock salt only lowers the freezing point to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so it becomes ineffective once the temperature falls into the teens. At this point magnesium chloride, effective down to -13 degrees F., and calcium chloride down to -25 are better but more expensive options.
How Sand Works for Ice Management
Sand is an abrasive material, so when applied to icy surfaces it provides a coefficient of friction, or in common language traction. Sand doesn’t melt ice, and since it only works when applied to the surface of ice, loses its effectiveness should additional snow accumulate on top of it. However, unlike salt, it works no matter how low the thermometer drops.
Leave Salt and Sand Application Up To the Pros
There are some downsides to improper application of salt and sand on winter surfaces. Salt doesn’t just combat ice, it also corrodes steel (as in cars and bridges) and eats away at concrete sidewalks, parking lots, and roads. It tends to be harsh to any shrubs and grass on which it contacts. For this reason, salt should never be over-applied and it’s best to use a professional for salt application. While none of the salt varieties can be called harmless, they do vary in the degree of damage they cause when used improperly.
Sand, whether at the seashore or on the sidewalk, tends to drift and build-up. Thus, any budding dunes at the site of drains can cause problems come spring. For this reason, post-storm sand removal is vital.
When all is said and done, the best way to deal with icy surfaces is to remove snow before it gets a chance to compact and freeze over. Now is the best time to engage a snow and ice Management Company to create your snow and ice removal plan. Contact us to learn about our many service options.
Sand and Salt Application services near Omaha NE: The initial venture into deicing services begins with the acquisition of a tailgate-mounted, electrically driven spreader holding 700 to 900 lbs. of deicing material. These units are not terribly expensive and allow the small operator to enter the deicing business with a minimal capital investment usually less than $2,000.
The downside to this method of deicing parking lots and driveways is the deicing material must be manually loaded into the hopper, thus requiring someone to work outside in the elements several times during a typical evening plowing.
As your company continues to grow, using spreaders mounted on the rear boom of a backhoe can also reduce labor costs since a single operator with a pusher on the front of a backhoe can clear and deice the lot simultaneously.
Sand and Salt Application services near Omaha NE: Deicing is the most common means of removing ice from a customer’s facility or residence. Deicing is the application of an ice-melting material after ice has formed on the pavement, sidewalk or other traffic area.
However, you can apply salt or an alternative deicing product prior to the snow or ice event. This technique is called anti-icing and it has grown in popularity, especially among contractors using liquid deicing materials.
Salt, sitting on the paved surface is inert unless moisture is introduced and comes in contact with the granular rock salt. Once it starts to snow, the moisture causes the salt to dissolve into solution. The resulting salt brine prevents ice and snow from bonding with the pavement surface. Since no bonding takes place, once plowing operations commence the snow or slush is easily removed. This leaves a cleaner surface than if you plow the site after the snow and ice has bonded to the pavement.
The nice thing is you can achieve this result by using only one-third the amount of product required for traditional deicing. If it does not continue to snow after completion of plowing operations, there is often no need to reapply salt to the cleared surface. If an additional application of salt is required, desired results can be achieved with considerably less material than you would have needed had you not been proactive.
All things considered, the astute contractor can actually use half the normal amount of salt by having a pre-salting program in place. Most contractors who pre-salt also make a very light application of salt after the plowing has been completed.
How much is enough?
Establishing a pre-salting program can conserve salt usage in the long run. When discussion occurs about the use of rock salt (sodium chloride) and its distribution to the pavement surface, there are always arguments as to how much product needs to be applied to the pavement surface to achieve the desired results.
Various DOT studies indicate that in a light-icing situation, 200 to 250 lbs. of rock salt per acre is all that is required to reduce a light accumulation of ice to water at approximately 28 degrees F. Under these conditions, the melting process will take 45 to 60 minutes to complete. A heavy accumulation of ice may require as much as 350 lbs. of rock salt per acre. This may seem absurdly low, but these low application levels are attainable.
In fact, recent studies indicate as little as 75 lbs. of rock salt will address a light icing on 1 acre of pavement. Unfortunately for contractors, the V-box, slide-in spreaders can only be calibrated down to about 300 lbs. per-acre distribution. There are spreaders on the market that can go as low as 75 lbs. per acre, but the cost of these units is well over $50,000.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many snow plows does Nebraska Snow Removal have?
Nebraska Snow Removal has approximately 800 snowplows, to cover 12,000 miles (30,585+ lane miles).
Why do we salt the roads in the winter?
Salt is used to make the roads safer during the winter. Salt lowers the freezing point of water, which keeps the snow “workable” so it is more easily removed. Salt can be used for anti-icing or deicing. Anti-icing is a technique where a chemical is applied to the roadway prior to a storm to prevent the snow/ice from bonding to the pavement. Deicing is when a chemical is applied after the storm has begun in order to break up ice and snow pack or to melt glare/black ice.
What are the limitations of salt?
The minimum practical application range for salt is a pavement temperature of 15-20° F and above. While salt will melt snow and ice down to a pavement temperature of -6° F, it can melt over five times as much ice at 30° F as at 20° F. Thus the effectiveness of salt is sensitive to small differences in pavement temperature. Snowplow operators attempt to apply only the amount required for temperature, time and use, too little and the roadway will refreeze, too much is a waste of money and resources.
When the pavement temperature drops below 15° F the effectiveness of salt is decreased significantly. At lower temperatures Nebraska Snow Removal will begin adding other chemicals to the salt such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride that will lower the freezing point even further.
Wind conditions must also be considered when deciding to apply salt or other chemicals to the roadway. As temperatures drop and the snow becomes dryer, snow blowing across the pavement will stick wherever there is chemical present. This can create a hazardous condition that would not have existed if no deicing chemical had been applied.
The effectiveness of salt can also be affected by the pavement type. Salt works better on new asphalt (blacktop) than on concrete pavements.
In order to reduce salt bounce and scatter and to help it adhere to the pavement, salt brine or other liquid deicers are sprayed on the salt at the spinner on the back of the truck. This is called pre-wetting. This strategy helps to reduce the overall amount of salt needed to return the roads to safe winter driving conditions. Pre-wetting also helps to jump-start the melting process, making the salt work more quickly.
How much salt and sand does Nebraska Snow Removal use in a typical winter?
The amounts vary considerably from year to year depending on the severity of the winter. The winter of 2012-13, a particularly severe winter, we used 304.6 thousand tons of salt and 44.3 thousand tons of sand, which compared to 2014-15, considered a more average winter we used 173.9 thousand tons of salt and 39.8 thousand tons of sand.
Why doesn’t the department use more sand?
Nebraska Snow Removal will use sand for traction when the temperatures are very cold and chemicals won’t work, or during freezing rain events. The performance of salt decreases relative to the temperature and will only perform effectively down to 15 degrees. Sand is most often used in hilly, rural areas that are subject to impassable, slippery conditions in very cold weather. But the benefits of sand applications are very limited. Sand doesn’t have any ice melting properties. Abrasives, such as sand, are also easily displaced by traffic. There are also negative environmental impacts such as air pollution and siltation of our waterways. The cost of sand is more than salt when you factor in the higher application rates, frequency of applications, costs of sweeping and disposal.
What is the importance of pavement temperatures? Why can’t you just use air temperature?
The ability of deicing agents to melt snow and ice depends on both the pavement temperature and the air temperature, along with the time of the winter season. During the fall, the pavement is often kept warmer than the surrounding air because of the warm soil. During the spring the reverse may be true. The pavement temperatures can be colder than the air because the soil is still frozen from the low winter temperatures. The sun also has a strong influence on pavement temperatures. Air and pavement temperatures can differ by as much as 20 degrees.
Is it legal to pass a snowplow?
There are no state laws that prohibit you from passing a snowplow. However, it can be very dangerous to pass a plow. Snow Plows have wing plows that can be on the left or right side of the truck and can extend from 2-10 feet beyond the width of the truck. It can be difficult to see the wing if there is a snow cloud. The majority of crashes involving snow plows happen when a snowplow is rear-ended or hit when being passed.
Why is it I never seem to see a snowplow during a winter storm?
Nebraska Snow Removal is responsible for snow removal on 30,000 lane miles of roadway. Using the 800 trucks, the cycle time to complete a route can vary from 1-2 hours in urban areas or as long as 8 hours in rural areas. Time is also needed to load, reload and fuel trucks.
Plowing contractor’s price range.
Contractors often charge for half-ton and full-ton applications of rock salt for an acre of parking surface. More often than not, contractors apply more salt than is necessary. This has some negative consequences, including reduction of profits, the potential to overcharge customers and doing more harm to the environment than is necessary. The next time you see a white parking lot the day after a snowstorm, it is likely the contractor over applied salt to the lot.
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