Why do we put a product like rock salt on our roads?
In areas where it snows, it is very important that the roads are treated with a de-icing compound in order to clear them of snow and ice and keep them safe for drivers and pedestrians. There are many areas where the snow falls with varying degrees of severity during the colder weather months and the current way of treating them en masse is to spread rock salt.
Why is rock salt good for treating roads?
When rock salt is spread on the roads before there is a good covering of snow and ice, it will either make it more difficult for snow or ice to lie or if there is already a light covering it will melt it and provide protection for further falls. This can help drivers to travel safely without causing accidents. It also has the benefit of clearing the way for emergency vehicles, like ambulances and fire service vehicles so that people can get the help they need during the bad weather. This is an important responsibility that local authorities have to ensure our roads are treated so that they are clear and safe for all vehicles to use.
Is rock salt safe to use on the roads?
The use of rock salt has been generally accepted as a safe and effective method of clearing our roadways. The only real problems experienced in recent years has been in the more sever winters when stocks have not only run low but run out causing serious problems with road travel and safety. Whilst it has been used for many years throughout the country and is a proven method of clearing snow and ice from our roads there are now concerns over the after effects of its use.
Using rock salt on the roads can cause corrosion
After the snow melts and the residue of the rock salt snow is left on the roads and pavements it can widen existing cracks in the road surface which can lead to potholes. It will also react with concrete and damage its surface. This is an expense in additional road repairs that is not taken into account when assessing the true cost of using rock salt. Rock salt is also known to rust metal structures and corrode the under carriage of motor vehicles.
Rock salt and its effects on pets and the environment
Rock salt can be harmful to pets and small animals causing a caustic effect on skin and paws and if swallowed can make them sick or in severe cases, may even cause death. When the salt runs off with the melted snow it is harmful to vegetation and plant life and will cause longer lasting damage to roots and soil. It also damages water supplies. These are issues that rock salt suppliers are being increasingly asked about by their customers.
In summary using rock salt is a popular and effective way for controlling the build-up of snow and ice on our roads to help keep them safe to travel on. However there is growing concern over the corrosive properties of salt and the adverse effects it has on the environment and more and more people are now looking for rock salt alternatives as they realise the real impact on the environment.