Working as a rock salt contractor is a big responsibility. Your job is to get out on the roads before anyone else in order to eliminate snow and ice, and keep them safe for local drivers and pedestrians. You can only successfully do this, however, when you’ve got to correct rock salt on hand and know how to use it efficiently and effectively. Because we are passionate about keeping our NJ roads, sidewalks, and parking lots safe throughout the winter, we’ve put together a list of 5 tips that every contractor ought to know regarding rock salt.
1. Not All Rock Salt is Created Equal
In order to best serve your clients and your community, it’s important that you understand that there are different ice melting compounds that offer different advantages. Although traditional rock salt has long been a staple throughout the northeast (and for good reason – it’s highly effective at lowering the freezing point of water!), there are other rock salt-like products that may also be a great option for you to consider using during the 2018-2019 winter season. Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride, for instance, are known for working at temperatures well below that of standard rock salt. This is great for the times of year when temperatures hit record-breaking lows. There are also products that are ideal for use in areas where children may be present, such as schools, churches, and hospitals. Some rock salt blends are engineered to be non-corrosive, safe for use around plants, or even to reduce tracking and residue in buildings. You can even find rock salt mixtures that have been manufactured in flake form to reduce tripping and slipping hazards.
2. The Early Bird Gets the Worm
One of the worst mistakes that any rock salt contractor can make is to wait until the last minute to stock up on bulk rock salt. Although it may seem too early to start thinking about deicing the roads right now, winter will actually be here before you know it. Waiting until the first snowfall or winter storm is predicted to go out and buy your supply of rock salt could cost you – big time. During the “off season” you may find that rock salt is more competitively priced. In addition to this, you’ll discover that there’s much more inventory available, thus ensuring that you’ll be able to pick up plenty of what you need and have it on hand when duty calls.
3. Don’t Play Guessing Games
As industry experts, we urge you to avoid playing guessing games when it comes to figuring out how much rock salt you need to have in order to take care of your clients and locale during the long winter months. Too many contractors make the mistake of trying to “guesstimate” how much rock salt to stock up on, and this often leads to running out of material partway through the season. Not only does this mean that you won’t be able to get the job done without ordering more rock salt during the busiest time of the year, but it also means that you’ll miss out on a great deal of savings. Buying all of your materials in bulk at one time will allow you to maximize bulk prices and keep your costs at a minimum. Buying your rock salt piecemeal, on the other hand, will cause you to spend more than you should. What’s more, running out of rock salt mid-season could also mean that you’re unable to buy the specific brand or type of ice melt that you want, as suppliers may be running low on stock and inventory. In some cases, contractors have found themselves out of luck because the area has gone into a rock salt shortage. It’s best to avoid all of these problems by anticipating your need, using a materials calculator to help determine how much rock salt to buy, and then running those numbers by an expert for a more detailed and accurate assessment of your needs.
4. Don’t Sell Yourself Short
Throughout the years, we’ve seen a lot of contractors make the bad decision to under-apply rock salt in a feeble attempt to hoard their supply and save money. Doing this will only reduce the effectiveness and efficiency of the ice melt, and will cause your coverage areas to be unsafe for drivers and pedestrians. This can ultimately lead to serious accidents and injuries, and you may even find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit with your customers and any victims from your local area. Make sure that you always read manufacturer instructions regarding how much rock salt to spread per square foot, and be sure to use ample ice melt during every application.
5. Keep It High and Dry
Make sure that your bulk supply of rock salt lasts throughout the entire winter season by storing it in a dry location where the ice melt won’t be accidentally activated by flooding or moisture. It’s also in your best interest to keep the rock salt stored in a sealed container, up off of the floors. Finally, be sure that your storage facility’s temperatures don’t fall below freezing as this can cause clumping in rock salt and can reduce its effectiveness.
Quality, Affordable Rock Salt in NJ
Contractors throughout NJ and the tri-state area trust Braen Stone with all of their rock salt needs. As one of the largest local suppliers of rock salt and other ice melting materials, Braen Stone is capable of connecting you with the best product for your needs, at the fairest and most competitive prices. We employ a team of knowledgeable and passionate individuals who are ready and willing to help you calculate your needs and provide you with advice about rock salt. Our rock salt can be picked up or can be bulk delivered to a number of service areas throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC, eastern PA, and southern CT. Visit us or give us a call to learn more today.