3 Ways You Can Maintain Your Roads To Prevent Vehicle Accidents From Snow And Ice Accumulation

When you are responsible for maintaining your roadways during winter to keep them drive-able, you should know of some of the most effective ways to prevent build-up of snow and ice on them. Plowing your roads to keep them clear during a snow storm is only one aspect of maintaining the roads during winter and snow storms. Here is some information about three ways to help you keep your roads free of ice and snow.

Apply Anti-Icing

The time you apply your ice melt products onto a road can affect its ability to make and keep the road safe for vehicle travel. Some areas of northern climates will send out their deicing trucks ahead of when a snow storm is set to reach an area. The deicing trucks will then apply a solution of salt brine onto the roads and prepare the roads for the snow, ice, or freezing rain.

This application of salt brine stays on the road and remains effective even if the storm is delayed. So, when the storm begins to cover the road with snow and ice, the salt brine will melt the ice and snow crystals and keep the roads passable. This is an especially effective treatment when you have a large number of roads and many miles to keep clear during a snow or ice storm and only so many plows and trucks to keep up with the accumulation and ice formation.

Salt brine is a less-expensive option to prevent snow and ice collection on a road, but it will only keep the roads from freezing to 20 degrees F. When the temperature drops to below 20 degrees F, the sodium chloride brine is less effective to melt ice and snow and keep the roads clear.

Deice Your Road

When you use snow plows and deicing application to clear the roads of snow after the snow fall has already begun to accumulate, there are many different types of ice melt solutions and applications you can choose from. The type of deicing product you use can depend on the climate of your area and the temperature's expected drop.

Many times after a snow storm has passed, the temperature will drop dramatically, freezing any remaining snow melt left on the roads. This can make it necessary to use varying types of deicing chemicals to lower the freezing temperature of the ice on your roads. Unfortunately, the less-expensive option of using sodium chloride only works effectively to melt snow and ice in an environment of around 20 degrees F and above.

For climates where the temperature can fall well below zero during night and day, you can choose from a couple different deicing chemicals. Magnesium chloride lowers the freezing temperature of water down to 0 degrees F. There is also calcium chloride, which lowers the freezing temperature of water to work effectively to -25 degrees F. This is a good option for extreme northern climates where the roads can remain frozen all winter, otherwise.

Use Anti-Ice Road Materials

Instead of plowing roads and applying deicing chemicals for each storm, researchers have created a new road material that may be available sometime soon to help improve winter travel on roads. This road material slows the formation of ice crystals to keep the roadway free of ice and more safe.

Researchers combined salt potassium formate with the polymer styrene-butadiene-styrene and added it to the bitumen of asphalt pavement. When this application was used on a surface in the laboratory, it slowed the rate of ice formation. Because the salt potassium is combined throughout the asphalt's thickness, it will continue to release the salt potassium as the roadway is used and worn away by vehicle traffic and continue to melt ice and snow accumulation.

Use this information to help you keep your roads safe during winter storms, and talk with professional deicing companies, like GMCO Corporation, for more information. 

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