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Time Flies

28th December 2018

As the age-old saying goes, ‘time flies’. So, ask yourself, is the correct Winter Maintenance cover in place on your sites for the winter months?

Many Companies overlook the need for Winter Maintenance entirely. But it’s not just the highways that need to be gritted. If you don’t spread salt on your own site, you risk your business grinding to a halt.

Four reasons to put a Gritting contract in place:

  • In commercial businesses, you safeguard productivity levels by ensuring your employees can get into work as normal
  • In retail environments, you don’t risk a drop in sales due to shoppers not being able to reach you. This is particularly crucial surrounding the peak Christmas season, when reduced December revenues could affect your results for the whole year
  • You keep staff and visitors safe, by striving to prevent slips and trips due to icy conditions underfoot
  • This also helps protects you from potentially costly accident and injury claims, that could affect your bottom line and your reputation.

Gritting companies invest a lot of money into forecasting, equipment and software so that we can best prepare for all eventualities. This all helps us to provide the best service possible to businesses of varying industries.

If you’re an FM manager in charge of sites across a large area, you don’t want to have one company gritting a small carpark at a Vets Practice and then a different company for a Retail Park. It is best to choose a Winter Maintenance provider that has a wide range of spreading equipment who is able to offer a comprehensive service to meet the requirements of all the sites in your portfolio.  You will then ensure a consistency of service across all your locations and liaise with one main contact regarding all properties.

At The Gritting Company, our expansive fleet of winter maintenance vehicles are strategically located at over 73 depots throughout the UK, giving a truly full national coverage.  They carry around 10 tonnes of salt each, enough to cover their full route and giving the ability to spread extra salt in adverse weather.!

  • No site is too large or small
  • We only use BS 3247 salt, certified for its quality
  • With a 20,000-tonne stockpile of reserve salt, we’ve never run out
  • We own and proactively maintain our own fleet, to prevent unplanned breakdowns or interruptions
  • Flexible plans are available, we can tailor our service to you

What to expect from your gritting service

There is a common misconception that when a site has been gritted there will always be salt visible; that is not always the case. The purpose of gritting is to lay salt on your sites surface to prevent ice from forming, therefore companies endeavour to service sites before the temperatures reach freezing point (0 degrees Celsius). The salt that is applied will mix with air/surface moisture, break down into a saline solution (brine), and thus lower the freezing point of the grounds surface. This process prevents ice from forming on your site. So rather than seeing grains of salt and patches of ice, you would notice damp patches where the brine is sitting.

Spreading salt after ice has already formed is effective, however it takes much longer to break down ice that has already formed.

Different types of frost

People are sometimes shocked or confused when they see frost on the grass or have to scrape their car windscreens but didn’t see any gritters out and about overnight. This can be down to the difference in air versus ground temperature and if there was moisture on the ground. Sometimes you may have very cold temperatures but because there is no moisture present in the air then there is no risk of a frost and therefore no need to grit.

Ground Frost

Hoar Frost

A ground frost refers to the formation of ice on the ground, objects or trees, whose surface have a temperature below the freezing point of water. During situations when the ground cools quicker than the air, a ground frost can occur without an air frost. A grass frost, an un-official type of ground frost, can occur when other surfaces - such as concrete or road surfaces - don't experience a frost, due to their better ability at holding onto any warmth. It is possible for a grass frost to occur in late spring or even early summer when the risk of more wide-spread frosts has disappeared and is something that gardeners in particular need to be aware of.

Hoar frost is composed of tiny ice crystals and is formed by the same process as dew, but when the temperature of the surface is below freezing point. The 'feathery' variety of hoar frost forms when the surface temperature reaches freezing point before dew begins to form on it. A 'white' frost, composed of more globular ice, occurs when the dew forms first, then subsequently freezes. The presence of fog tends to prevent the formation of hoar frost as it reduces the potential for radiational cooling of surfaces.

A noteworthy point to remember is when you see a weather report on TV or your mobile the temperature you are given will be an air temperature which is always warmer than the ground temperature. When the temperature of the ground drops below 0° Celsius (32° Fahrenheit), it freezes. However, the ground temperature can be different from the temperature of the air above it. Layers deep within the ground may be colder or warmer than layers near the surface of the ground. The Forecast used for Winter Maintenance cover should always be based on surface temperatures.

As demonstrated in recent years, our weather patterns here in the UK are becoming less predictable and are now punctuated with more severe weather events – ‘Beast from the East’, heatwaves, severe rain and flooding. This has resulted in some of the coldest winter months since records began in 1910; and current forecasting predictions are that it will continue this way for the foreseeable future.

To ensure that your property or your clients’ properties are covered for future bad winters The Gritting Company can provide peace of mind along with a comprehensive one stop shop to cover all your winter maintenance requirements. Please contact us at:              0113 253 2191       

The UK's Leading Nationwide Gritting and Snow Clearance Company.