College Planning & Management

AUG 2012

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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>> Maintenance, Repair & Custodial Care and the use of shovels, plows, and other equipment. More recently, granular mate- rials have become a popular and effective method for maintaining safe conditions during and after a storm. De-icing is the reactive application of ice control products to driving or walking surfaces to melt existing snow and ice. De-icing is performed after snow removal operations to melt any remaining snow and ice. Anti-icing is the proactive application of ice and snow melting products to driving or walking surfaces prior to a snow or ice storm. Anti-icing helps prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, allowing snow and ice to be cleared more easily. When used effectively, anti-icing can create some of the safest conditions in the winter, and be a cost-effective alternative to de- icing. Understanding the difference be- tween anti-icing and de-icing can yield in- sight into the different approaches utilized by professional snow removal services. In general, materials used in de-icing and/or anti-icing include: • Sand. Although sand can provide some amount of traction it technically is not a de-icing material, since sand in no way melts snow or ice. A common mispercep- tion is that sand is the best alternative for snow and ice control due to its low cost and common use. Sand may also have environmental impacts related to drain- age that must be considered. • Salt. Sodium chloride, or rock salt, is the most common de-icer in use today. Generally this product is effective, though not at all conditions. In very cold conditions (typically less than 23°F), salt begins to lose its effectiveness and is ei- ther not used or is overused in an attempt to make up for reduced performance. • Sand/Salt Mix. Another common practice is to mix sand and salt together for de- icing. This method is effective in main- taining some traction, due to the sand, but it will reduce the amount of salt that can be applied to an area, so less de-icing occurs while environmental concerns and clean-up costs associated with sand rise. There are many other products in use in today's market, and each of these differs in effectiveness, cost, availability, and envi- ronmental impact. These products include calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, urea, calcium magne- sium acetate, and potassium acetate. CPM Brian Birch, CAE, is assistant executive director of the Snow & Ice Management Association ( He can be contacted via email at 40 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / AUGUST 2012 WWW.PLANNING4EDUCATION.COM

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