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Ever wondered what is Gritting Salt and if you can eat it?

23rd June 2021

The short answer is we 100% advise against it! Rock salt (grit) is the salt of choice for winter maintenance service providers to treat roads, pedestrian areas, car parks, building entrances and stock grit bins etc.

At more than 90% pure Sodium Chloride (salt) road salt contains toxic ingredients in the remaining 10%, mainly Keuper Marl, which helps protect the salt quality for its ice and snow melting use. Unlike the table salt you sprinkle on your fish and chips, grit is also not purified or regulated and therefore can be hazardous to your health.

Ever questioned why gritting salt helps prevent ice and snow?

Here comes the science bit… grit when spread across roads and pedestrian areas will mix with any moisture that forms or has formed to create a saline solution. This solution freezes at a lower temperature than normal water that has no salt, so frost and ice are therefore prevented from forming on the road/pavements, even though the temperature has dropped below freezing for water.

So, this is why we must have innovative technology at our fingertips, so we keep an eye on the weather. Depending on how much rain or snow is predicted we must make sure the right amount of grit is spread on the roads to ensure that the saltiness of any water collecting on the surfaces is adequate to prevent the formation of frost and ice.

However, when it comes to snow, the moisture Vs salt equation becomes more challenging. When snowfall is predicted we must get out on the roads before any starts to fall because we need the salt to mix with the flakes as they hit the surfaces to create the saline solution to prevent a build-up. With a sustained snowfall, this comes down faster than the salt can combine with the moisture and will result in a build-up that needs ploughing. Salt does not directly melt snow as it first must form a saline solution to lower the melting point.

Surprisingly, rock salt can also help protect the roads during a heatwave. By spreading salt over the surfaces, helps prevent the road surface absorb as much heat and help it cool down.

So where do we get our salt from?

AccuGrit has two offices and strategic salt stores, one being our central UK location in Leicestershire, which could not be better positioned to support our UK wide Gritting and Snow Clearing teams. The other is our second office and depot located in East Anglia and it is from here where our control room and operations are masterminded.

If you are interested in finding out more about our winter maintenance programme and how we can provide unrivalled gritting and snow clearing services through using advanced technology, then get in touch with our team today. [email protected]

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