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I am in newyork

presently 6 degrees and to remain this temp for the next couple of days

Its snowing with a forecast of only 4 to 6. We have about an inch down

Should I be pre salting?

and whats the purpose ?

And when I use the term pre salt I actually use calcium because I can no longer find big bags of snow melt salt
 

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I say it depends on your accounts. Are they COmmercial?? Are they open right now with customers walking in and out. If both are yes then i would at lease check the lot and at lease salt in front of the entrance way. Unless there closing very shorty again this is just my opion.

Rich:burnout
 

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Just to let you know check the lot and even after the storm is over. I plowed for a lot in Whiteplains. This is a parking garage and they had there own plow guys but they wanted someone to take care of the garage. But they would off load the banks off the roof after the storm. Well they didnt and it refroze and a ladie sliped and fell and my insurance paid her 1mill. So $20 in sand and salt is a lot cheaper. Even though this happened 2 days after the storm. I was liable. Just some added info for you. And this year i choose not to carrie that account. because they didnt want me to off load the snow.

Rich:burnout
 

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If it is going to get really cold after the snow comes through, and you can bear it, don't salt. The salt will melt the bottom of the snow, but as it cools off, that melted layer will refreeze, and stick to the pavement. That creates lots of problems with being able to scrape the lot clean. If you can avoid it until after its plowed, I think that'd be the best course of action.

If it needs to remain open, you'll have to use a lot of salt to keep it from refreezing, or else keep it plowed, but it may turn into a sheet of glass if the temps drop fast enough. Just keep a hawk's eye on it, use your best judgment.
 

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If the lot is in an area that gets sun, the pavement actually warms up pretty quickly. I agree you have to use quite a bit of salt, but it does work. MAGic salt works the best in these colder temps, but it's not available everywhere. We would love to have some available in our area. We have to drive almost 2 hours one way to pick up the liquid MAGic.
 

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SnowyBowtie said:
If it is going to get really cold after the snow comes through, and you can bear it, don't salt. The salt will melt the bottom of the snow, but as it cools off, that melted layer will refreeze, and stick to the pavement. That creates lots of problems with being able to scrape the lot clean. If you can avoid it until after its plowed, I think that'd be the best course of action.

If it needs to remain open, you'll have to use a lot of salt to keep it from refreezing, or else keep it plowed, but it may turn into a sheet of glass if the temps drop fast enough. Just keep a hawk's eye on it, use your best judgment.
I have to debate your line of reasoning here.

I'm currently dealing with snowfall of around four inches, deposited over two days time in low temperatures. Lots were salted early and lightly, based on forecast information.

As it happened we got both more snow and lower temperatures than originally forecast. temps dropped through the teens on Monday and have been as low a -20° this morning.

Original salt application was bolstered with repeat applications of salt on Monday and Tuesday. Lots were plowed where needed on Tuesday morning, with temps around zero at that point. Areas which had received the prior treatment came clean at that point. Those were the areas which get the most traffic. The repeat applications served to keep whatever snow was getting trampled by traffic clear and slushy.

During the nights any slush remaining froze to a semi-solid state but never got slippery. Areas which had NOT been presalted built up a white layer of packed snow. Salt applications on top of that packed layer have not burned into the pack to any appreciable amount due to the low temperatures. Areas which were pre-treated have remained open enough to see the pavement through the slush layer.

What sunshine we have had between snow squalls is having an effect on any place that any pavment is visible and the slush on those areas has diminished until it is virtually gone. Areas with white pack were sanded yesterday to provide traction and add some color to the pack. By midafternoon today those were starting to slush up, but I'm sure they will freeze up again tonight, although I don't think they will become slippery. High temperature today is -8° and still rising at this time (03:43)

From the results I'm seeing I only wish I had laid down more salt in my initial pretreatment. Forecast had been for up to an inch with temps in the single digits. Actual ended up being 2"+ with temps in the low single numbers.

Pretreatment was with Magic salt (I'm almost out) with followup applications of straight salt. Between salt and sand everything is safe for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. There is another 1-2 forecast for tonight and tomorrow with temps rising into the teens by afternoon. I'll play this one by ear, but if it ends up only an inch I should be set wtih what salt is already on the ground as temperatures rise.

At no spot where pre-treatment was applied has the pack frozen to the surface. It can be removed by scraping and will come up, leaving bare pavement. But it has to be noted that pre-treated areas DID NOT show any signs of freezing down as you mention.
 

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We pre-treated with Magic liquid prior to Wed night's event. Despite the accumulation of 6" the areas that were pre-treated cleaned up well. We found about the same thing as Alan. Because of the low (for us) temps of about 3-4 degrees avg ground and air, this morning we ended up with a lot of slush. Normally we see this just turn into lliquid and vanish, but not today. Had to wait for the sun. It was pretty cool to see rivers of dark brown magic/snow liquid running across the lots once the sun popped up. However, as Alan mentioned it was safe for pedestrians throughout the event. Speaking of which..... Here it was, 0530 or so, 5 degrees, moderate snow falling, 15 mph wind, dark out and a woman is running across the lot in a pair of 3-4 inch slingback hooker shoes! Gives one new insight as to how the slip and fall happens!

We'll go back out tonight to hit the final clean-ups where cars were parked. This building works splits shifts so people start arriving around 0445 and trickle in most of the day until everyone is gone by 2000 or so. We were hoping that the bulk of the snow would have been down by 0200 but no luck. Oh well.....

Later!
 

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Salt when the suns out other wise your out of luck, no effective with this type of deep cold.
 

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If the road temp is under 10, salt doesn't go out. Too much salt is required even when pre wet with calcium to do any good with a road temp under 10. The good thing about snow when it gets this cold, it doesn't pack very much, so you can plow 99% of it off.

Geoff
 

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I tend to disagree with the "salt when the sun is out" advice. Here's why:
One, you are liable for the lot, sooooo even if you put salt down and it isn't as effective as you would like, at least you are attempting to alleviate a potential hazard. Kind of a CYA thing. True with these temps you aren't going to get much action with straight salt. That brings me to my second point.

There are other deice/anti-ice agents out there that are effective to much lower temps than plain salt. Many have been mentioned here and as I work for a Magic distributor, we use it and are happy with the results. Is Magic an other agents more expensive than plain salt? You bet! That is where the professional business operator in you has to come into play. It should come as no great surprise that every year we get a couple of weeks of these temps here in NY. When you do your contracts be sure that you retain control of when and what you will apply to affect the removal of snow and ice. After all, when Grandma breaks a hip they are sure gonna say YOU are the professional and should have known better and why didn't you use more/something more effective.

Just my $.02

Good luck!
 

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Alan,
I only mentioned that as a warning. The last storm we had through here, on 1/4, right before and during the sudden drop in temperatures, that is what happened to me.

I pretreated one lot where the newspaper distribution center is located, it worked great, until the temps began to fall. It had been hovering around 30° all day, and with 3" already down, it was keeping it soft and plowable very nicely. We were predicted to get another inch or two before the temps dropped. The temperatures dropped sonner than expected, I got out as soon as possible to remove the slush, but it was already beginning to refreeze to the pavement. The places where I did not pretreat cleaned up very nicely. After a decent application of salt, all the lots, both pretreated and untreated, were thawing, and clearing up.

This took place on a sunday afternoon, everything was closed, and did not require me to keep the lots open throughout the day. If it would have been a weekday, I would have handled it differently.
 

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I agree with Pete. It's been -15 the last couple of nights here. Yesterday the high was -2. We spread a lot of salt the past 2 days. The salt does provide a little traction, and in areas where there is black pavement, it melts the snow/ice pretty well. I've told the customers that there is not much we can do when it's this cold, and they agree that at least we're trying.
 

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Sunday night we got around 12" of snowfall and temps have been around -15C to -20C for the past several days. Windchills have been close to -40C at times.

90% of parking lots in the city have not been salted due to the cold temps. Those same 90% have a layer of hardpack snow that hasn't melted, but hasn't been icy either. The lots that have been salted are down to pavement where there is HEAVY traffic. Otherwise, they still are covered in hardpack, or may have some slushy areas which ice up overnight.

I'm one of the 90% that haven't salted. Perhaps if I'd have pre-treated all of my lots I could have scraped lower and then heavily salted after plowing. My contracts call for salting if icy conditions are imminent or occuring. Neither is the case with this storm. If they were slippery I'd most likely put down a 10/1 sand/salt mix anyway rather than straight salt.

5cm snow is forcasted for tomorrow and then the temps may moderate some. Perhaps then salt will be more necessary and also more effective when applied.

Only you can make the call based on each lot's condition and what your contracts call for.
 
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