Icy Roads and Walkways

PowFor many children, the first snow fall is a wonderful event and a chance to miss some school, maybe go outside to build a snowman, throw snow balls, and just take the day off to relax.  But for adults who have to drive to work, and especially those who go out at night, the chill in the air and the slick ice and snow on the roads signifies scenarios that are not so safe and fun.

Black ice on the roads is probably the most hazardous condition for our employees when they must drive to theirIcy Roads & Cars building at night to clean.  Slick parking lots and entry ways can also be treacherous.  That is why it is so important to keep parking lots cleared and well lit for the nightly cleaning crew to access their buildings safely.  If a dumpster is located outside, away from the building, it is important to clear pathways and keep the walkways sanded down or de-iced to minimize the risk of slipping and falling.  This is for the benefit of the client’s employees as well as the late night cleaning crew.  Let’s face it, no one wants their employees to suffer from a painful fall injury, and no one wants to have to file a workers compensation claim that could have been avoided if the proper precautions had been taken.  An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure here.

Salting sidewalkAs I looked into the methods for de-icing, I saw that there are quite a lot of products out there and the chemicals are not always environmentally friendly, or pet and vegetation friendly, but since we’re mainly talking about making work places safer, it makes the choices easier.

According to Peters Chemical Company there are seven things a facility manager should know about ice melters.

  1. What’s most important
  2. What melts quickest
  3. What’s best for concrete
  4. What works at coldest temperatures
  5. How to prevent tracking
  6. How to protect vegetation
  7. What is the best value

I would suggest taking a look at this link for a more detailed overview:

Whatever de-icer you plan to use, you will need less if you follow these three general guidelines:

  1. Apply before the snow and ice fall. Pretreat surfaces an hour or two in advance of precipitation.
  2. Shovel snow and ice before they have a chance to accumulate. Once snow is deep, don’t throw de-icer on top of it.  Wait until the snow stops falling, then shovel down t o bare cement before applying de-icer again.
  3. Shovel off the slush as the snow and ice melt. Otherwise, they’ll refreeze and you’ll have to apply all over again.

I am glad that we don’t experience icy conditions too often in the Willamette Valley here in Oregon.  It makes winters a lot more bearable.  But if it does get bad this year then I for one will be taking precautions to keep my front and back entry ways at home cleared better when we get our snow and ice.  I hope that our clients will also, for their employees and ours.

Good article on using eco friendly de-icers:


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Nash Janitorial Company

89074 Bridge Street

Springfield, OR 97478

Phone: (541) 747-6947

Fax: (541) 726-7925