When you do this job long enough, you come across some real nuggets of misinformation. Sometimes, you even hear them multiple times from difference sources. In many cases, it's simply harmless, but in other cases, it can lead to serious problems, such as injuries and liability.
In this post, we are going to clear up some of the most common misconceptions about snow and ice removal.
Misconception: Since de-icers melts snow, I can just use them and not worry about shoveling.
Reality: Don't put away the shovel just yet. De-icers do some things very well. Rendering your shovel useless, however, is not one of them.
First, different de-icers only work in certain temperatures. So, depending upon what the mercury says, you might not even be able to get any kind of results with de-icer. Next, de-icer doesn't actually melt ice; it works in a way that makes the ice unstick from the pavement or cement. So, if the ice already has a pretty solid hold on the ground, it's already too late for de-icer to be effective, regardless of the temperature. De-icers can certainly be very helpful, but they serve a very distinct purpose. Replacing your snow shovel is not that purpose.
Misconception: If some de-icer is good, then even more de-icer is better.
Reality: Using an excess of de-icer just makes a slushy mess, which is just a different problem to address.
As already mentioned, if the ice in front of your house, store, restaurant, or whatever, has already clung to the pavement, de-icer is not going to be effective in freeing the ice from the pavement. Instead, it creates a slushy hazard on top of the ice below. So, now you have slush <i>and</i> ice.
It's best to use the de-icer before icy conditions start. If you have missed your window, you should shovel away all of that slush and do your best to keep your walks as clean as possible.
Misconception: And eco-friendly way to melt ice is with hot water.
Reality: This one is a pretty short-term solution. Is hot water better for the environment than chemical de-icers? Sure. Will it melt ice? Yes. But what, exactly, is ice again? That's right, it is the state of water below 32 degrees. So, while the water is hot, it can raise the temperature of the ice above 32 degrees and effectively "melt" the ice.
What happens when the temperature gets below 32 degrees again, though? That hot water and melted ice is just going to freeze again and leave you with more ice than when you started. So, if the temps are going to be above 32 for a while, this isn't a terrible option. But if the temperatures are going to be above 32 for a while, the ice is just going to melt by itself anyway.
Misconception: You should remove snow from parking lots at night, when they are empty.
Reality: Actually, the best time to remove snow is when it is coming down.
If the snow is falling at night when a parking lot is empty, then you have hit the jackpot. You should certainly be clearing the snow in that situation. Still, clearing snow from parking lots is best when the snow is falling. If you wait until night when the parking lot is empty, you are left with compacted snow that may have iced over by that time.
Further, if you are clearing snow during the day, you sometimes have the benefit of the sun to help melt some of the cleared areas so that they don't ice up.
As mentioned several times already, the best time do deal with the ice is before it starts. If that is at night, then great. Otherwise, getting your de-icer down in advance, no matter the time of day or night, is going to achieve the best results.
In short, it seems that most misconceptions stem from trying to find shortcuts in snow and ice removal. Don't get us wrong, we are certainly fans of working smarter and not harder. Still, sometime shortcuts actually make things worse. In the end, effective snow and ice removal often requires some elbow grease to get the best results.
Of course, if you are looking for commercial snow removal services, we'd sure appreciate it if you would give E.P.M. LawnScape and Supply an opportunity. Simply contact us online or call us at (517) 990-0110 today!