Freezing rain is a dreaded phrase.  Depending on the ice layer left after a storm, travel may be next to impossible.  When you are a professional in the snow removal business, customers rely on you to get their properties safe.  There are several things that you can do to fight an ice storm.  Pre-treating hard surfaces with a salt brine will help reduce the impact of freezing rain.  Pre-treating allows the freezing rain to mix with the salt that has been applied, reducing the amount of freezing rain that sticks to your property.  In the event that there is a storm that produces over 1/8 inch of ice accumulation, pre-treating will not completely work.  Pre-treating will in fact create a reduced ability for the freezing rain to stick.  During a significant freezing rain event, it will also be necessary to also apply treated salt and or a sand mix.  Treated salt will break through the ice layer and create pockets in the ice.  If your property has high traffic, the salt will be crushed by the traffic and worked into the ice.  This will cause the ice to slush up, allowing you to scrape some of the ice.  This process may need to be repeated several times, depending on the thickness of the ice and the amount of traffic your property receives.

Freezing Rain

Treat freezing rain with sand.

When working with freezing rain, sand is another great tool to use in your arsenal.  Sand is much more cost-effective and does help give your property traction.  Sand will make your property safer, but it will not melt the ice.  In order to provide melting as well as traction, it is important to mix salt with your sand.  Sand should be mixed in with salt at a 3 to 1 ratio.  Having 3 parts sand provides traction and 1 part salt allows enough salt to start the melting process.  Nothing beats straight salt applications when it comes to melting ice, but sand is a great cost-effective alternative.