Salt and grit on snow and ice

Grit

Well, winter is on its way after the best summer in years. People say we’ll get a hard winter, but it’s impossible to know. At Revolution, we check the long-range forecast for the weather each month (you’ll be glad to know November is going to be mild).  One of the reasons for this is to ensure each site has the correct levels of salt and grit in time for the bad weather. If the weather arrives and then you try to order the grit, you’ll never get any as demand outstrips supply.

Treatment of areas with grit and salt is done to stop salt forming and reduce the build-up of snow as it then lands on damp pavements rather than frozen ones. Frost and ice form when water freezes. Salt spread over the area mixes with the moisture and creates a saline fluid. Saline freezes at a much lower temperature than water so frost does not form as easily. This is the same reason the sea doesn’t freeze.

Will salt melt snow?

In a word, no. Salt and grit don’t melt snow and ice. The idea is to get the salt down before the snow arrives. This then creates the saline fluid on the surface and then the snow lands on this. Slightly technical, but the main thing is to get the grit and salt spread early on.

What is rock salt?

Rock salt is 90% pure sodium and the balance being Keuper Marl. It’s not what you put on your food.

We decide by site if it has grit or salt (or a combination). Grit can be highly messy if trodden into a building on foot but can help with grip for cars in car parks, etc.

Finally, we also have to refill the grit bins and keep them topped up if we have bad weather. Fingers crossed that all the fortune tellers predicting a bad winter are wrong!