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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I am wrong please someone let me know. I bought a 55 gallon drum of 1000. I was under the impression that it can be used in place of salt. I was also under the impression that it melts ice. I was also under the impresson that it melts up to 2"-3" of snow. I also thought that 1 gallon will treat 1500 square ft. I did not pre treat with it. I sprayed it on after we cleared the walks. Snow still covered the walks. Sprayed it on a patch of ice. It crackeled like salt for about 10 sec. and then nothing. Didn't even melt the ice or go through to the pavement like salt does. The only thing that it did do was cost me time and materials, ( had to buy sidewalk salt , cause it wasn't melting). But it did however keep the snow or ice from sticking(not forming on) the pavement. I used what I thought was over application ( about 2 gallons in a 100 square ft area) and the 1000 did nothing to melt the ice. I was having better luck with the radiation of the sun melting the ice. Unless I was miss informed or mislead, I think the stuff sucks. If someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong or what ever that would be great. I've go 3/4 of a barrel on my truck, and its doing nothing but adding ballast for plowing as far as I'm concerned. By the way we were applying the product to sidewalks with a back pack sprayer.
 

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interesting is it just for pretreatment in liquid form ?
 

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Plower737, I'll be interested in following this thread. Do you tried any other liquid as a comparison? I think the claim of melting up to 2" refers to pre-treating and melting as it falls. I haven't used Caliber but from what I understand 1000 is for sidewalks and 2000 is for streets.(?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well what we did was clear the walks and then applied the caliber to the walks with a backpack sprayer. After we applied the caliber the snow still fell and accumulated on the walks. I will admit though even if people walked on it the snow didn't stick to the walks, but still had to be shoveled. We only had 3.5" of snow. I was under the impression that it melts ice like salt so I didn't think I needed to buy salt. Luckily I had some left over from last year to get me through. I'm not saying the product is total junk but I must have been misinformed about what the product did.
 

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Plower737, lets see if we can correct some of your misconceptions. 1 gal is for 500-900 sq ft in a pre-treat usage. If you have genuine ice, then you need to put it on in a stream, not a spray, and use 1 gal to 2-300 sq ft.
It will melt 1-1.5 in snow as a pre-treat. Put over fresh fallen over 1.5 in deep you would have to use quite a bit. If you have thick (over 1/2 in) ice, you need a dry melt like salt or CaCl. The liquid runs off unless you shoot it in a stream and use a bunch.
Caliber's real use IMO, is as a pretreat on pavement or smooth concrete. Ice just doesn't form, and it makes plowing peel up to black with no sno-dust residue. It is more enviro friendly that regular mag chloride too.
Hope this helps.

;)
 

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I'm not particularly knowledgeable about liquid apps, but from what I have learned they are far better a a pretreatment (anti-ice) than as as a removal tool (de-ice).

I tried Magic on some walks earlier this season, on top of a half inch of frozen "crunchy" wet snow. In that situation the liquid stayed in place and soaked into the porous surface. I applied in a stream and got good results where the liquid saturated the crust but very little spread.

BUT! After the slop was removed and the concrete had dried there were dark areas where the Magic had settled into the texture to the concrete. The next snowfall, a dusting of quite dry snow, it melted as if fell on the dark spots.

I will be switching to Caliber so I can avoid the spotting on concrete and I won't hesitate to apply well in advance, in a fan so I can cover the entire surface lightly.

I think, and this is pure conjecture, that when you apply a liquid to very hard pack or ice you will get an initial melting. That will provide water which will immediately dilute the solution and raise the melting point, thereby slowing the melting action. At the same time the water will carry chemical off the surface, probably quite rapidly. This further lowers the concentration of the chemical in contact with the surface.

When you apply granular product to a packed surface the initial melting reduces the surface area of the granules but in the process creates a pocket around them. That results in the chemical brine being contained around the granule in a concentration high enough to be effective. The granule will also burn down to pavement where the brine can and will spread across the pavement surface and break the bond between pavement and pack, allowing it to be removed.

I'll be researching more about liquids and proper application through this winter. At the present I tend to think of liquids best used in the anti-ice role while granular products are better for de-icing.
 

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I have a spray set-up on my truck but was unable to get with my supplier before the last storm. I also have a small hitch type spreader that I use rock salt. Would a combo of both be the best bet? The salt to break the surface and the caliber to penetrate to the surface and spread? The spreader spreads very thin. Good thread!:)
 

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Let's see if I can add to the confusion... I work for one of the distributors of these products and we use them on our own accounts as well.

Magic -0 Brown liquid, Recommended for treating salt and can be used to pre-treat walkways, parking areas, roads, etc. Water soluble and non-staining.

M1000 Mostly clear liquid, used for pre-treating walkways, lots, roads, etc. Not recommended for pre-treating salt because it isn't absorbed well and tends to leach out. Water soluble and non-staining.

M2000 Bluish in color, used to pre-treat walkways, parking areas, roads, etc. Can be used to pre-treat salt. Higher in cost than Magic and M1000. Water soluble and non-staining.

The following information is from our own use on these two recent storms. We use Magic extensively and Caliber occasionally when needed because of the color issue.

As Alan stated their strengths are in the pre-treatment of lots, but are also very effective when used to treat salt. Let’s look at how quickly salt loses its effectiveness you will see what I mean. Anyone got a good link to the chart about salt melting vs temps? When Magic is applied to salt, the salt remains effective to a much lower temperature. This means you will use significantly less salt to treat the same amount of square footage as temps drop.

We pretreated our lots a day or so ahead of a projected event with liquid Magic at a rate of approximately 1 Gal per 1500 sqft using a spray bar with fan nozzles attached to our dedicated deice/salt truck. The results have been that as the snow falls and the Magic comes back into solution the snow did not even begin to accumulate until after the first inch or so. Our contracts require a clean lot, vice a 3" trigger, etc., so we are always going to be on site to perform a service during any precipitation event. When it does accumulate, even areas that weren't touched during the 12+ we had, when plowed, were "black and wet" underneath which greatly reduced cleanup. Even then, as flurries continued the residual effect of the Magic on the pavement kept them "black and wet". For hardpack or ice, we would have to switch nozzles to a pencil point type for better penetration, and consequently much more liquid. We did this for a client who has since become a pre-treat customer.

We also have people who pre-treat with treated salt. By applying it when prior to the storm when the pavement is dry the salt, with Magic applied, gets crushed into the pavement. As precip starts, it begins to burn it off immediately and prevents the bonding of the snow to the surface.

We are basically presenting it this way to our customers. Use the liquids to pre-treat, and treated salt during storm use. We do use the liquids also during storms if there is a problem area, or on hills where gravity helps it travel, but the salt seems to give more bang for the buck. As for laying down our treated salt, I was able to use less than half of what we normally would have used. We have just finished figuring our costs on this last round and compared to a similar event last year our material costs were way down. Labor was too, less plowing and cleanup mainly. And we did factor in our Magic and all that goes along with treating salt, etc.

We got so busy during this last storm that I only had time to snap a picture or two. When I find my camera, I’ll try to get them posted. I know its somewhere in the deice truck, or maybe one of four plow trucks I was in, or maybe the Bobcats….


Pete :usa
 

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How well do these liquid pretreatments work on pavement with a grade . Does it just wash down ??
 

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The pre-treatment itself should not run as it is applied. You should be putting it on with a light fan type nozzle. As precipitaion occurs there may well be some "travel" of the treatment mixing with the precip, but that is a bonus. Now it will migrate and help to deice as it goes. Of course this is all dependant on the grade, amount of precip, etc.

Like I partially explained above. We use liquids sometimes during the storm along with treated salt. If we have a problem area or an area where the liquid will travel well along with the grade we will sometimes apply it. It is kind of a "feel" thing. Like any new piece of equipment or technique, you have to play with it a little. We experiment a little bit every time we use our gear. No one combination of material or equipment or technique works for every situation. We look back and discuss what we did, the results we got and most importantly, the errors we made. Liquids are now becoming known to the private snow contractor world. It is a education issue but the results have been well worth the time it is taking to get everything down. The learning never stops.


Pete :usa
 

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I have the same experience on hills as HerkFe. In the mountains we have lots of hills, and inclined driveways. We use a fan spray an put down about 1 gallon per 800-1000 sq ft with Caliber and 1 gallon to about 500-800 sq ft with regualr mag chloride solution. (Meltdown is what we use) No run off in application and minimal runoff in early storm. We found that both liquids work well where we treat 24-72 hrs before the storm. If we mess up in our prediction, then both have a 2 week on the ground life. Then we plow completely when the storm is over if at all possible. Thats when the liquids really do their thing and you get wet & black.
We sprayed Sunday night and the snow started monday noon and went to just past midnight. We did a little cleanup during the storm more for looks than effectiveness. We plowed this morning. In spite of being driven on we got a lot up nicely when finished. I went back and checked this afternoon about 4:30 and all key customers had mostly black with little shallow sheets of slush. All will be dry by noon tomorrow. That is why we do it. no ice anywhere in spite of traffic during the storm.
This is our 5th year with Mag and we just added Caliber for our more environmentally conscious customer.
:greenange :grinz
 

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There is no way I can talk my resy customers into pretreating and it's not worth it for me to do it on my own accord. Would a combo of both be the best bet? The salt to break the surface and the caliber to penetrate to the surface and spread?
 

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I think I understand what you would be trying to do by using both, but I don't think it will produce the results you are looking for in your application. The Magic or Caliber, when used as a pre-treatment, prevent the bonding of the snow to the pavement and also help prevent ice build up. This happens as the precip occurs. You can certainly use both but I think the key element here would be time. If you allow snow to build up, then plow and THEN put down treated salt you will melt the snow and or ice. By applying the liquid along with salt you will speed up the process because you don't have to wait for the treated salt to dissolve and become solution and so on. Still it takes time to "work". By pre-treating, it begins as soon as precip does. Are you going to wait at the drives for the salt to work before plowing? Two trips? Time is money and that is what pre-treating saves you, time.

We use both when we have to mainly because it works in conjunction with the pre-treatments. If not pretreated we tend to go heavier on the treated salt application vice using a combo (just what works for us...others may do it different).

Depending on the square footage of the drives you may find it cost effective to pretreat with either treated salt or liquid. What is the average residential driveway in sqft? 2K? I don't know, but that would be about 2 gallons of liquid . Pick it up yourself, that about $4. Less for salt, it will crush in and give good results. Figure in some labor. Remember you can pre-treat days before precip and it will work. Do it when you have time before and make your life easier. How much does it cost you to try to scrape hardpack on ice? It may be cost effective to use it. Here's another thing. How much for your insurance? Reducing the likelyhood of a slip and fall is another reason to consider it.

We are having fantastic results and so are our customers. We treated another 75 tons today and if the rain holds off (no chance) we have 120 tons scheduled for tomorrow. All repeat customers who tried it for the first time on their last piles.

We kind of got off the Caliber subject that started this off but I think this is a good discussion anyway.

Pete :usa
 

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Just for the sake of everyone's knowledge, what do you guys charge to pretreat?

Take the above example of a driveway about 2k. What would you charge to do it?

This might help us all see where another advantage is, saving money because of less time when actually plowing, meaning easier removal because of no bonding or sticking to the pavement.
 

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We have a $35 minimum and that covers up to about 15,000 sq ft, depending on obstacles etc. Most small businesses are at $50 per treatment. The nice thing from a business point of view, is that I can schedule it a day or two before the storm at my convenience. Not in panic, gotta get it done mode.
If someone wants details on pricing etc, you can email me. Keep in mind that I am only 80 miles from the mfgr of the products we use, and we have been doing it 5 years. Ground floor is a good place to be with a supplier who remembers the little guys. The supplier is the key to a good liquid program. IMHO...:D
 

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We don't do residentials. Ours is strictly commercial. As for liquid pricing it is pretty straightforward. We give them an estimate based on the square footage and go from there. When we apply it we just measure the amount we put down. We are usually pretty close if not under our estimates. Prices for Magic around here average about $3.25 a gallon (sprayed or delivered to your site) and rarely do we charge a trip charge unless they are out of the way or have an "emergency" that throws a wrench in the schedule for us. You know the saying..."Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part". The per gallon charge is the same as if we were treating a salt pile. That price, give or take a few cents, is pretty standard for Magic around here. If you have a large acount you may be able to get a break. We have one that is over 9 acres of parking.

Like I said before, it is an education issue. Take a look at liquids, treated salt, etc. Do the math and compare TOTAL costs. We are using less material, manpower, equipment. We are seeing significant savings and realizing much better results.


Pete usa
 

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szorno - How many gallons are you using to pretreat a driveway. From my calcs. you would need in excess of 15 gallons on a 15,000 sf driveway. Are you paying anywhere near $2.00 a gallon for product. If so, how are you making a profit?

Maybee I am missing something!

Sounds like a great tool for selling residential customers. Does it work well on brick pavers, etc. So pretreatment should be preformed no later than 12 before a storm? When does the pavement dry out? When will pavement freeze over, when using a liquid?

Chuck B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So basicly I was mislead about the way to use Caliber. If its a pretreatment then thats fine. I was under the impression that it can be used after the ice or snow had formed to melt the snow and ice at a rate of 1 gal per 1500sq ft.. But what I still don't understand is. we shoveled some walks as it was snowing and applied this product to the walks and it didn't "burn" the snow off like some have said. Well now that I know I guess I need to go buy some sidewalk salt.
 

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OK Snoworks, lets see if we can get all those
If you have a 15000 sq ft driveway then, I would put down 15-20 gallons of mag or 12-15 gal of Caliber. I buy it a bunch cheaper but I buy it 4,500 gallons at a time. (2 tanks 1500 and 3000)
Note- it does not work well on porous surfaces like bricks or recycled asphalt. I use only on asphalt in decent condition and concrete. I put it down most any time before the storm hits. I have even been putting it down as the first flakes are falling. Still works great. The pavement dries out after about 48 hrs of no precip. (Mountain humidities though- way low) It stays on the ground about 2 weeks just fine. We do refresh the hi traffic areas after 2 weeks. I can't speak to the re-freeze issue as it just doesn't happen much around here. With our low humidity, when we get it to black and wet, it dries completely the same day 95% of the time.
There is an article on the regular part of this page I wrote (A Primer on Mag Chloride)that has more info on how we settled on liquid and what we do. Check it out too. :cash
 
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