At VSI, we are confident that our extensive knowledge in this growing field sets us apart from our peers. Our sister company, Smith Lawn and Landscape, has been using exclusively liquid for their de-icing for a number of years which means we've had time to learn and customize the process to suite both small and large scale operations. Please contact us if you have specific questions and we will be happy to help!
Liquid sells itself, here are some benefits to mention to your customers:
Benefits to liquid vs rock salt-
Works faster- get the lot down to bare pavement much more quickly. For some customers—especially ones who have had a major slip and fall claim from an employee or patron—this is worth a lot of money. In most cases, we can get parking lots down to bare pavement 3-4 times faster than rock salt can reducing the chance of injury due to icy walkways.
Reduced janitorial costs- liquid doesn't track in and make a huge mess like rock salt and sand. The little liquid that is brought in on shoes can be easily cleaned and does not stain or corrode the way rock salt does. A retail store we work with saved $2,000 in janitorial costs and even more in wear and tear on their brand new flooring. We are doing a case study with a few customers this year, where we will be using rock salt at one entrance, and liquid at the others to show proof of the difference.
Better for the environment- We have a very large account with a corporation owned by Rolls Royce, they are super environmentally conscious. When we sent them the studies showing how much less chlorides we are putting down and how much less of those chlorides are getting into the storm water, they immediately signed the contract. Some customers couldn't care less about this, but others do!
Adaptability- you can work to lower temperatures by spiking your brine with calcium chloride. Melt off parking lots in temperatures that rock salt doesn't work at all.
Better for concrete and asphalt- we are working with 3rd parties who have experience with testing concrete and asphalt for structural integrity and wear levels. It may take a few years but we will have studies out on this as well. We experience almost no freeze thaw cycles when we use liquid with calcium chloride mixed in. That along with the corrosion inhibitors are better for your customers asphalt and concrete.
As the contractor—in addition to these benefits above—you can charge customers the same or higher price with lower input costs. Also, the equipment to apply liquid has much greater longevity than equipment that applies salt. The new poly v-box spreaders are a great improvement in longevity of salting equipment, but the moving parts are still susceptible to seizing up, wearing out or jamming during usage. This is not the case with liquid.
Here is the chart we use for application, Some types of snow and snow pack can require higher application rates. These percentages are the percentage of salt brine to percentage of calcium chloride:
24*F+ 100% Salt Brine
14*F-23*F, 90%-99% Salt Brine, 1%-10% Calcium Chloride
5*F-13*F, 80%-89% Salt Brine, 11%-20% Calcium Chloride
-9*F-4*F, 70%-79% Salt Brine, 21%-30% Calcium Chloride
Colder than -9*F, 31%+ Calcium chloride
Standard application rate for light snow pack or glaze of snow after plowing, 70-90 Gallons per Acre
Heavy snow pack or bad ice, 100-120 gallons per acre
See our digital brochures below for more information. If you'd like a physical copy or if you have any questions, call or shoot us an email. We can email or mail the information to you!
What can liquid do for your business?
Never spread salt again and put more money in your pocket.
A unique service like liquid de-icing differentiates you from your competitors in more areas than just cost. Lower input costs and better results for your customers leads to new accounts and higher demand for your services. Retail stores and other high traffic facilities appreciate how much cleaner their floors stay with liquid de-icing compared to salt or salt/sand. Use this as a selling point. Our sister company did it successfully in our area and they have had to turn away accounts due to excess demand. The janitorial costs saved and the increased longevity for the floors of these businesses can be easily presented and sold. Need help selling the benefits of liquid? We can help with that!
The decreased input costs mean that you can price deicing the same as your competitors if you need to and walk away with higher margins and more money in your pocket!
But how can liquid de-icing be more effective and provide me with lower input costs? It seems too good to be true!
“Our thoughts, backed by facts”
Ideal salt brine for de-icing contains 2.28 pounds of dissolved salt per gallon of water. This solution is 23.3% salt brine and has a freezing point of -6 degrees Fahrenheit. When spiked with 10% calcium/magnesium chloride, freezing temps drop as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. Typical application rates for post treat purposes are between 70-100 gallons per acre, depending on amount of snow pack/ice and the moisture content of the snow if you are trying to “burn off” a dusting.
“Wait a minute, post treat? But I’ve heard that liquid only works for pre-treating!”
We have tested this extensively on a variety of different lot locations and surface types. While we have seen results from pre-treating, we have found it not to be necessary. Instead of wasting extra labor, fuel, and truck wear and tear by pre-treating before each storm, we simply “over apply” our liquid de-icer when post treating by 10-15%. Over applying liquid does not stain your customers parking lots white or leave piles of excess salt behind, in fact, most of the time you cant even tell the salt and calcium chloride residue is there. The liquid gets into the nooks and crannies and is there and ready for the next snow event, unless a significant rain event occurs between your last snow event and the next one. If you don’t get a significant amount of rain your sodium and calcium chloride will remain on the lot and ready for the next snow event. We have especially noticed the difference in our plowing times on the lots that have us post treat with liquid after each snow event. This reduction in plowing time is due to the increased traction provided by the blades clearing down to bare pavement as well as the plow crews being less apt to double pass over anything because it looks so good after a single pass they dont want to mess it up by plowing over it again. Avoiding the extra step of pre-treating can save you thousands in unnecessary expense. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet and don’t “go with the flow.” We know this liquid post treat system works since we have done it successfully for 5+ years now. Ask us how we can help you do the same!
The below analysis assumes that you pay $75 per ton for your salt, regardless of if you are using granular or liquid. In Southern Minnesota we are able to purchase factory reject salt blocks for $20 per ton to make our salt brine. These types of factories exist all over the United States. Other options for cheap salt include lightly refined product direct from salt mines, which can often be purchased for less than $10 per ton. Assuming a standard application rate of 1000 lbs of granular salt (at the stated $75 per ton) per acre, the applied cost for raw product (no labor, overhead, etc) is $37.50 per acre.
Assuming a standard application rate of liquid at 80 gallons per acre, 2.28 lbs of salt per gallon, total of 182.4 lbs of salt, at a cost of $6.84 per acre.
Now to get realistic with this comparison, there is labor involved in mixing brine. At our sister company we figure our costs at the following rates:
- Municipal water: ½ cent per gallon
- Labor @ $30 per hour with a VSI 1800 gallon brine maker: 2.5 cents per gallon
- Salt, at $75 per ton, 2.28 lbs of salt per gallon: 8.5 cents per gallon
TOTAL COST - 13.5 cents per gallon
Spiked with 10% calcium chloride @ $1 per gallon: 25.85 cents per gallon
Even with 10% calcium chloride, and a high application rate of 100 gallons per acre (in our experience, sufficient to melt off a ½”+ snowfall) you have a de-icing solution that will cover an acre for $25.85 and melt at lower temperatures than rock salt can.
We also find we have far less issues with our liquid application equipment than we had with our v-box and dump truck tailgate spreaders.
No moving parts to seize up, no chunks of salt to freeze and jam your spreader, no skid loader to rely on starting to fill your v-box or dump truck, no salt pile to keep covered, etc.
The list of benefits is long, and the only downside is that now you need to sell all of your conventional salting equipment and upgrade to a liquid operation.
Overwhelmed by all of this new information? We are experts in liquid de-icing and truly believe we have done more research and have more knowledge and practical experience in the field than almost anyone. Let us help you set up your entire liquid operation with a multi stage email/phone consult or on site consult.
Liquid calcium and/or magnesium chloride are readily available all over the United States. There are also many companies selling ready made salt brine for those that don’t want to mess with the brine making process. We have built good relationships with many liquid de-icing suppliers, so if you have trouble finding a local supplier for your calcium/magnesium chloride, just ask and we can help. Some good places to start include Tiger Calcium, Harmoney De-icing Products, RDIC Products and Chloride Solutions