Keeping commercial properties safe during winter weather is a number one priority. There are several products and methods available to address accumulating ice and snow and to keep properties safe and accessible for all users. As the snow and ice industry evolves, professionals continue to seek out better products, faster and longer lasting methods, and more cost-effective practices to minimize risk in winter weather. One practice that is becoming more popular throughout State Highway Administrations and Department of Works offices is applying brine.  But can this method be applied at the commercial property level?

What is a brine application?

Brining is the process of mixing salt, magnesium chloride, and water together to form a solution that can then be applied using a sprayer to roadways. This process is actually called anti-icing and is done to prevent ice from adhering to asphalt.

Pros of Using Brine

• Can reduce the amount of bulk salt that is needed so it can be a more cost-effective solution to pre-treatment
• Once the initial investment in the equipment is made, the material to make brine solution is less expensive than using only bulk salt
• More effective in lower temperatures than solid salt
• Longer residual effect than bulk rock salt
• Can help reduce overspray onto concrete

Cons of Using Brine

• Cannot be applied to wet surfaces. That means that during a storm and even after during periods of refreezing, brine is not an option.
• The mix is more corrosive to vehicles than bulk salt
• Storing brine on-site requires an engine and a pump to load the trucks. Bulk salt requires a loader (which you may need anyway in a significant snowfall) and can be stored in larger quantity
• Good to use on roadways, but the spray cannot reach beneath parked cars like salt can

Safely and effectively managing winter weather can be tricky. Working with your commercial snow removal contractor to have the right plan in place for materials, equipment, and communication that is specific to your needs is key to keeping your commercial property safe and open during the worst winter events. If you haven’t planned for snow and ice this winter, now is the time to make that call.