Can Ice Melt Products Damage Your Commercial Property?

Posted: Mar 30, 2020

Why Use Ice Melt Products?

As a commercial property owner or manager, you are responsible for keeping the parking lots, walkways, and entryways safe for all foot traffic on your property. Simply shoveling is not enough to keep these areas clear of ice, which is why using ice melt products is so important.

Proactive use of ice melt will reduce the risk of slip-and-fall incidents and your liability, and using it effectively will save money and minimize damage to your property. Just remember the “less is more” mindset when applying ice melt.

How Can Ice Melt Products Cause Property Damage?

  1. Parking Areas and Walkways

    Concrete and pavement are permeable (meaning they will absorb liquids). In the winter they will absorb liquid from snow, ice, and whatever ice melt product you use. Repeated frost action (cycles of freezing and thawing) over time can cause pitting, cracks and other damage to concrete and pavement. Concrete that is less than a year old is the most susceptible to damage. Surfaces that will be treated with ice melt can be sealed before winter starts to keep them from absorbing moisture, preserving them for longer.

  2. Lawns and Landscaping

    Ice melt products remove moisture from the soil and prevent it from getting to the roots of grass and other plants. This causes dehydration and brown patches in your lawn, and can even kill the grass or other plants. Consider adding a burlap screen or snow fence around your lawn and plants during the winter months to protect them from the ice melt being spread around. If your lawn or plants do get ice melt on them, make sure to flush them with water to dilute the salt. Keeping your lawns protected during the winter will keep them healthier year-round.

  3. Interior Floors

    No matter how hard you try, ice melt will find its way inside the building and harm your floors if left uncleaned. Hard floors such as tile can get discoloration or stains. Wood floors can dry out and splinter. Carpeted areas can stain and possibly even start to dry rot. You can minimize damage by using scraping mats outside of entrances and doormats or track mats indoors. Make sure that all the mats are large enough to absorb as much ice melt and water as possible, and wash or vacuum them a few times a day at least. Keep a clean mop handy for any wet footprints that still manage to get tracked onto your floors as well.

Tips to Use Ice Melt More Effectively

  1. Pretreating with ice melt before it snows will make it more difficult for ice to form, and will also require less ice melt once the snow starts.
  2. Spread ice melt evenly using a fertilizer spreader or something similar. Shaking around a scoop or cup will apply the product unevenly, leaving spots that won’t melt properly and other spots with too much ice melt.
  3. Ice melt can clump together or harden when left open and exposed to the elements. Keep ice melt products in a sealed container near all the doorways of your property so they are fresh and ready to use.
  4. Don’t use ice melt on piles of snow. This is incredibly ineffective and will waste a lot of ice melt product.

Stay On Top of Snow and Ice

Winters in Denver can be unpredictable and hard to plan for, so why not leave it to the professionals? For over 25 years, Snow Management Services has specialized in commercial snow management all over the Denver area. Our winter risk management services will identify the best plan and equipment needed to keep your commercial property clear no matter what winter throws your way. To see what we can do for your property, give us a call at (303) 750-8867 or contact us online today.