Price vs Cost: What Does That Mean in Deicing?
When determining how much deicing product you can get for your budget dollars, do you evaluate your options on the “Price” or the “Cost”? These are actually two very different concepts.
Let’s define “deicing”. According to Merriam-Webster, it is “to rid or keep free of ice”. On streets, roads, and freeways that means getting rid of accumulated ice after a freezing rain or snow event and preventing new ice from forming. The primary goal of roads departments during these events is to keep the roads clear and safe for emergency situations, residents, and those travelling through. That means spreading sand, road salt, cinders, or other granular products like Ice Slicer on the roads.
All these products will create traction for traffic and wear down the ice to a certain extent through friction. But for sand and cinders, that’s the extent of what they can offer. So, they’re really not “deicers”. They won’t change form to create a brine and melt ice like road salt and Ice Slicer.
Deicing price is how much is paid for just the material that will be put down on the roads. Purchased by the bag or in bulk quantities, deicing materials vary in price. Sand and cinders are aggregates used to provide more traction for cars and trucks. These come in at a very low price point, but their functions are limited to traction alone. White road salt comes in higher and will melt to create a brine at temperatures above 15-20 degrees, but its effectiveness time is limited. Ice Slicer will melt down and create a brine nearly 14 degrees lower than road salt – faster and for longer. It does come in at a higher price, but as you’ll see below, the deicing cost is actually less.
It’s important to make sure you’re evaluating the materials based not just on the price to get it delivered to the yard, but how much it will cost to use it. It doesn’t matter how much lower the price is for a product if more has to be used for the same or worse results. Here are a few things to track as deicing products are being evaluated on a price vs. cost basis.
- Amount of Product Used Per Lane Mile Treated
The graphic above shows how many lane miles a salt/sand mixture will treat versus Ice Slicer. Due to the natural gradation of Ice Slicer, it will treat more miles for a longer time – with less product. It provides immediate and lasting traction and ice melting without unnecessary aggregates.
- Number of Trips to Achieve Similar Clear Road Results
Even if the “price” of the product is lower, the number of trips it takes to achieve clear road results will add to the actual “cost” of keeping the roads clear. Additional fuel, additional staff hours, additional hours on equipment, etc. A lower deicing product price does not always mean a lower cost.
- Time It Takes to Treat Major Routes (And How Long It Takes to Get to Secondary Routes)
The primary focus during winter storm events are the major thoroughfares and bus routes. The secondary business and residential routes come after those are thoroughly treated. Getting the major routes treated faster and getting to the secondary routes sooner keeps the public happier and the neighborhood traffic safer.
- Speed at Which Brining Starts
Even if the trucks are out at the perfect time, the speed at which the deicing product starts to brine matters. A granular product that starts working faster makes snow fighting more time efficient.
- How Long Brining Lasts
Between white salt and Ice Slicer – Ice Slicer‘s naturally occurring complex chlorides create more brine for a longer period of time, eliminating the need for extra trips. White salt is uniform in shape and melts into brine all at the same time. Ice Slicer has different sizes and gradations due to the way this naturally occurring deicer is processed at the mine. That saves on fuel, wear and tear on equipment, and employee salaries.
- Less Corrosion
Since less chlorides are being used per lane mile with Ice Slicer, there will be less instances of corrosion on bridges, railing, and snow fighting equipment.
- Environmentally Safer
Depending upon the storm conditions, Ice Slicer typically requires 40-100% less product applied to the roads than white salt. Using Ice Slicer vs white salt introduces fewer chlorides which in turn reduces environmental concerns. It is less harmful to aquatic life than white salt as it does not contribute to biological oxygen demand and sedimentation loading in streams. Ice Slicer naturally contains over 60 trace minerals that buffer the effects of chlorides on the enviroment.
- OMRI-Certified Organically Certified Deicing Blend
Ice Slicer is 100% all natural, dye-free, and kid-safe. It is OMRI-certified with no added dyes or additional chemicals.
- Reduced After Storm Clean-Up Costs
If sand is being used, residents and businesses alike will expect public works departments to come by with the street sweeper after the storm melts away. No one wants all those tons of leftover sand sitting around when the snow has melted. All natural Ice Slicer brines clear down and no after storm clean up is required.
Here at Desert Mountain Corporation, we recommend Ice Slicer for deicing. Ice Slicer is mined in Utah, not processed with chemicals in a pond. There are numerous naturally occurring key elements in Ice Slicer. It contains the highest concentrate of complex chlorides which break down snow and ice differently than white salt.