Salt is one of those things we take for granted. But there isn’t an endless supply, especially this year, as companies that provide commercial snow management services brace for a serious shortage of the ice-melting material.
What’s the impact of salt shortages?
How can we use less salt, but still keep commercial properties safe for customers, tenants and visitors?
Ron Eckman explains. He’s the owner of Deicing Depot, which supplies deicing equipment and materials to customers throughout the country, including Level Green Landscaping.
Use less salt, he says. Here’s how.
First, Why The Salt Shortage?
Two of the main salt mines that supply the industry have had problems that limit salt availability this year, Eckman says.
A 12-week strike at a salt mine in Ontario, Canada has caused a shortage there.
Another major salt supplier has had structural issues at one of its mines.
“Production there is way down,” Eckman says.
While the shortage is mostly affecting commercial snow management services in the Midwest, “it is putting pressure on the East Coast,” he says.
Eckman says his company will be able to supply its customers with the salt they need. But landscaping companies across the country have had to purchase salt from overseas, paying much higher prices than usual.
What To Do About Salt Shortages?
In simplest terms, use less salt.
Many landscaping companies are going that route anyway, Eckman says, out of concern for the environment.
Excess salt makes its way into area lakes and streams, creating a hostile environment for the creatures who live there.
“This is our planet,” Eckman says. “Reducing the use of salt is just being a good steward of the earth.”
Level Green Landscaping is a leader in reducing salt use, Eckman says, taking advantage of two techniques that use considerably less salt — which reduces the impact of salt shortages.
Battling With Brine
Brine is a liquid mixture of water and salt that’s sprayed on roads, parking lots and walkways, usually before a snow or ice storm to prevent snow and ice from sticking.
It makes a huge difference in your salt usage.
Brine uses 100 pounds of salt to treat one acre, Eckman says. Use straight salt and you need between 600 and 800 pounds of salt for that one acre.
“Using brine is a major reduction in salt use,” Eckman says.
Spraying brine on pavement is a lot like using cooking spray in your pan when you fry an egg, he says. Snow and ice don’t stick, which means crews need to use less salt or chemicals later.
Level Green crews use spreaders with shields that help keep the salt on the sidewalks and reduce overspray, Eckman says.
The spreaders also have built-in meters that ensure just the right amount of product is applied.
“By being responsible in your application and using liquid brine you get a huge reduction in salt use,” Eckman says.
Trust Your Slick Surfaces To Level Green
At Level Green Landscaping, we provide snow and ice management to our clients that we already service throughout the year.
We know how dangerous winter weather can be for our clients’ residents and visitors. Despite salt shortages, our goal remains the same: protect everyone who spends time on your commercial property and minimize your organization’s chance of being exposed to snow and ice-related hazards such as slips, falls, traffic accidents, and property damage.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.