If your facility is in an area that gets snow, you might want to check out some of the alternatives for snow removal as part of your preventative maintenance schedule. While salt is a common material used, there are a few reasons why you might reconsider:
Consider The Damage Done
Salt can damage things like your flooring in buildings, pavement, and sidewalks. This is due to its corrosive composition and then being tracked into areas where you have flooring and pavement. It is not good for animals that feed off of the soil and can cause irritation to the paws of animals like dogs and cats. It leaches heavy metals into water supplies.
Consider Greener Alternatives
Luckily, there are other materials you can use to de-ice your areas without having any of the “side effects” that salt can cause.
While sand may take longer, it is not only cheaper to use but actually has a better grip which means less slips and falls. It has its drawbacks too though – it can clog up drains and can cause an impact on the environment if there is excessive runoff.
Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMO)
This is a material made out of acetic acid and dolomitic lime. You can get it in a liquid or a solid form and it has been around since the 70s when it was introduced as a salt alternative. Like salt, it does make the surfaces slippery but it has a lot of benefits like being environmentally friendly, a low toxicity on wildlife, and being biodegradable.
The main drawback of potassium acetate is the cost – around eight times as expensive as salt. It is also full of benefits with it being environmentally friendly and non-corrosive. It also takes less usage than salt and does cause the surface to be slippery.
While it takes manpower to work these and the equipment may be expensive as an investment, these are a viable option. You do have to take into account the expense of maintaining them and there is going to be noise pollution as well.
The most viable option for being environmentally friendly is good old shoveling. However, it takes time and manpower and if you have a lot of snow or a large facility, this may not be the best option to remove enough to make a big difference.
Read More: Easy Winter Maintenance
Keep in mind that there are also natural remedies for snow like beet and corn liquid solutions that are no threat to the environment but these do have a strong smell. However, they melt snow faster than salt and are less corrosive. CMMS software will help you keep track of that historical information from previous years.