Street Sweeping During Winter: The Importance of Removing Salt

street sweeping salt removal - sweeping.comStreet Sweeping as a Safety Strategy

Over 70 percent of Americans have to deal with the nasty cold weather that comes with winter.

Although the snow and ice may look beautiful in pictures during the warmer months of the year, they present the most difficult conditions to travel in and require a great deal of manpower and materials to manage.

One of the most common materials used for snow and ice management is salt (also known as sodium chloride).  22 million tons of sodium chloride or road salt is dumped on paved surfaces to manage the ice by lowering its melting point.

However, using salt on roads, sidewalks, and other surfaces has its downsides.

Why Street Sweeping is crucial for salt removal

Using salt for snow and ice management during winter ultimately damages roads and other surfaces that get contaminated by salt.

Salt is one of the most basic naturally occurring chemicals that life needs to thrive.  While it is the cheapest and most practical way for us to manage winter ice, ice has one a serious effect on surfaces.
Because it is caustic, it can cause the breakdown of other materials in nature, including substances that we use to pave road surfaces, parking lot stripping and even interior floors.

Removing salt with street sweeping helps minimize the caustic effects of road salt.

Can Salt Contribute to the formation of Potholes?

Salt can speed up the appearance of potholes and makes existing deterioration on roads worse in certain situations. The salt itself used do not cause potholes, however it can contribute to the decreased life of the road.

It does this by exaggerating the freeze-thaw cycles at lower temperatures because of its property to keep water in liquid form even at very low temperatures.

Salt is a compound made up of two chemicals — sodium and chlorine. Sodium is a very corrosive element that will damage a wide range of substances that we use in interior and exterior surfaces, especially wood floors.

Chlorine, on the other hand, has a serious effect on parking lot stripping if the salt is allowed to accumulate on the stripping, causing the polymers in the stripe to dissolve.

Here’s one of our videos that explain some of the less obvious impacts of salt, debris and particulates on exterior and interior surfaces:

Street sweeping – the best approach to remove salt

When the winter season passes, it is imperative that we mitigate the effects of salt on roads, interior floors, parking lots, and even our cars by removing it.

Street sweeping is the ideal process that can clean away salt that has accumulated on surfaces during winter.

Removing salt is important not only because it will preserve paved surfaces, it also saves the environment by reducing the salt that could be washed on to plant areas and water catchment areas.

Municipalities employ street sweeping that uses the latest and most efficient equipment to remove as much salt from the roads, parking lots, and pavements as possible.

If you have a road, walkway, or sidewalk that you care for, take some time to implement a plan for professional street sweeping.

The goal is to clean away the salt left over from the winter, preserve the paved surfaces, stripes, and floors and save money in the long run.

Need a salt removal plan? Call us at 732-886-1940. We’re professionals in all types of street, parking lot, and garage deck cleaning. Sorry, we don’t don’t floors but can provide you with excellent street sweeping.

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