Optimum Deicing and Anti-icing for Parking Lots and Sidewalks
Canada spends more than $1.1 billion dollars annually on winter snow and ice control of roads, parking lots and sidewalks, which includes application of approximately 5 million tonnes of salt. While the use of this large amount of salts makes the public safer, they also cause damages to the environment, the infrastructure and the vehicles – a growing public concern.
Significant research efforts have been devoted to the development of improved snow and ice control strategies, methods, and materials. However, most of these studies have focused on roadway maintenance with few defensible and uniform guidelines available for snow and ice control of parking lots and sidewalks. This lack of uniform salting guidelines, in combination with the private owners’ desire to minimize their business risk and legal exposure, has resulted in excessive quantities of salts being applied in these areas.
The main objective of this project is to determine the optimum salt application rates for parking lots and sidewalks through a series of rigorous scientific tests under some specific range of weather events and local conditions. The project is divided into three components: a) Test and optimization of deicing treatments, b) Test and optimization of anti-icing treatments, and 3) Evaluation of organic deicing and anti-icing products. The proposed research is application focused with some elements of basic research. The results from the research will be adopted, initially by the members of Landscape Ontario and ultimately by all maintenance contractors across Ontario, which will improve professionalism and environmental stewardship while reducing over-salting and operational costs. The findings from this research are also applicable to other provinces in Canada and thus benefit all Canadians.