Prepare for the (Road) Ice Age! Part 2
- Posted by Sonlight Cleaning
- On October 18, 2019
- 0 Comments
Back when sand was utilized in icy conditions to prevent falls, the greatest concern a property manager might have is scuffs on the floor from the abrasive sand tracked in by someone’s shoes. With the advent of new technologies and a better understanding of de-icing methods, sand has been replaced with chemical powders, granules, and solutions. While these options (particularly granules) can still cause abrasive damage, this is no longer the greatest concern. With chemistry comes a more complicated cleanup.
Did you know that traditional cleaners (mildly alkaline) when mixed with chloride-based ice-melt solutions can permanently damage carpets and rugs? VCT floors may scuff, but a new coat of wax can easily fix the problem. Stained carpets, on the other hand, are an inconvenient and costly problem. That’s why at Sonlight Cleaning Services, we like to be prepared to combat these challenges before they become renovation-worthy problems. Even though we are more than happy to give a floor a new coat of wax when it is needed, we think an ounce of prevention is far better than a pound of cure! The first step is simply understanding what we’re dealing with when it comes to de-icing agents.
The chemicals used by TxDOT include sodium chloride (NaCl), magnesium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), and potassium acetate. Ranging in price from $20 per ton to over $600 per ton, there are pros and cons to each option (meaning on any given occasion, you could be dealing with one or all of these substances coming into your building on people’s shoes). Each of these chemicals include particular challenges for facilities managers.
- Sodium chloride (a.k.a. “rock salt”) is mined in such a way that 1-4% of the solution may contain impurities such as gypsum, shale, dolomite, and quartz. In other words, you could be dealing not only with chemical stains but highly-abrasive components as well.
- Magnesium chloride is extracted from the Great Salt Lake and is mixed into a brine for liquid application. While lauded as less harmful to property and the environment than other options, magnesium chloride can only be used on wet roads making it, therefore, not the best option in all scenarios.
- Calcium magnesium acetate is simply not as accessible (nor as effective in many cases) as other options, though it is the option with the least environmental impact. While it may not damage property, it will cause scaling which will require clean-up after the precipitation has melted.
- Potassium acetate is a type of salt known commercially as “potash.” This water-soluble compound is combustible in its dry state. It can be used as a pre-wetting solution by itself or with dry salt. Again, this combination can cause both chemical and abrasive problems for your floors.
Whew! Who knew combating ice could be so complicated? It’s easy to look at this list and get overwhelmed. But if you contract your weekly janitorial services through Sonlight Cleaning Services, you can rest easy. We make it a point to stay up-to-date on the best cleaning approaches out there. If there is a way to prevent a costly post-snow-day repair on your end, you can rest assured that we will find it. Streak marks on the hard floors? White crystalline residue on the carpet? Leftover scaling on the sidewalks? From hot water carpet extraction to power washing, we can help you get your campus looking good-as-new in no time! Call Sonlight Cleaning Services today. We’ll not only help you prepare for the upcoming bad-weather days, we’ll be with you every day in between.