The benefits of anti-icing are considerable. Pretreating surfaces with ice melter before a storm arrives can increase winter safety, make subsequent snow & ice removal easier and less costly, minimize deicer usage, and reduce the potential for impact on properties and the environment.
Applying ice-melting chemicals before or at the start of freezing precipitation prevents formation of bonded ice on pavement, which can help ensure safe passage for pedestrians and motorists from the outset of a storm. Use of proactive anti-icing applications can be particularly useful on sidewalks, steps and parking lots, which can quickly become slip and fall hazards when freezing precipitation arrives. Anti-icing can also reduce the risk of accidents on roads and highways by preventing hazardous conditions to form on steep grades, bridges, sharp curves, in problem intersections, and on other potentially dangerous roadways.
Reduced deicer use
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says effective pretreatments typically require up to 75% less ice melt material throughout the storm cycle compared to deicing after weather events, reducing costs as well as environmental impact.
The “Winter Parking Lot and Sidewalk Maintenance Manual” used in Minnesota states that anti-icing treatments applied in advance of foul weather often cost just one-tenth as much as deicing operations implemented after a storm.
Labor and cost savings
Pretreating pavement surfaces with ice melter can provide significant labor- and cost-saving benefits. Anti-icing treatment before a storm can often eliminate the need to remove light accumulations and can make removal of heavy snow and ice faster and easier. The residual ice-melting effect of these treatments can reduce the need for subsequent deicing applications after plowing.
Material selection depends on many factors, including available equipment, pavement temperatures, and current and expected weather conditions. Also important is the area requiring anti-icing treatment, which can affect economics and the selection of the most practical alternative.