Snow and Ice Removal for Your Driveway or Parking Lot

With shorter days and colder temperatures, most people begin to think of switching to their winter wardrobe, the upcoming holidays, or maybe even seeing family and friends during winter vacation. But for property managers, this time of year brings visions of pipes freezing, HVAC tuneups, and snow and ice in the parking lot. Fortunately, Exterior Maintenance Service can help with this last one. We’ve been helping businesses and property managers with their snow and ice removal for over ten years.

We’d like to take a little bit of time to explain snow melt – both what it is and how it works. You might be surprised to learn that there are several different kinds of snow melt and not all of them are kind to your parking lots and sidewalks.

The Mechanics of Cold Weather and Your Pavement

In a nutshell, snow or ice on your property is colder than the surface temperature, in this case the sidewalk or the parking lot. The snow or ice quickly melts when it hits the surface and then refreezes, this time forming a bond with the surface. As more snow and more ice fall, this process is repeated over and over again building a thicker and thicker surface. Snow melt or ice melt works to break the bond between the snow/ice and the ground surface. Therefore it is important to remove as much of the snow or ice before spreading chemicals. If you skip this step, you are only melting and breaking the bond at the top of the snow or ice, not at the ground surface where you want.

Chemical Applications

After removing as much snow and ice as possible with a snow shovel, a snow blower, or a large snow blade mounted to a vehicle, then its time to spread your chemicals. But keep in mind that not all chemicals are created equal. The stronger chemical to break the bond, the stronger the chemical is to harm your sidewalks. The main chemical that we want you to know about is sodium chloride (commonly known as rock salt). It is the cheapest for companies to make and sell, therefore it is the most common. However, sodium chloride is very harsh on your concrete and asphalt. You might have clear sidewalks and parking lots in the winter, but you’re going to be faced with repairs come spring and summer. For more information on the different types of ice and snow melts, follow this link to a great article by Consumer Reports.

Finally, though not all snow removal chemicals have a dye, we recommend using one that does have coloration. If you are spreading white chemicals onto a white surface, it’s very difficult to know if you have used enough or used too much. Use too much and you’re causing damage to your parking surface. Use too little and you might not break the bond enough to melt the ice or snow. By using a chemical that has color, you can track how much you are spreading in order to get the perfect coverage.

Here at Exterior Maintenance Service we use a product called Quad Release. It actually has a combination of several different ice melts as well as a non-staining dye to give us the perfect coverage rate. This allows us to achieve the best snow and ice removal in the largest variety of conditions. If you are interested in letting Exterior Maintenance Service help you with your snow and ice removal, please give us a call today at 615-973-9626. We’ve been clearing snow and ice for people for a long time, and we would love to help you too.