Greengates Builders Merchants

Rock Salt: Stay Safe this Winter!

Each year, many thousands of people are admitted to the hospital with injuries sustained due to slippery surfaces coated with ice and snow. By far the worst of these cases are caused by road accidents but a significant proportion of injuries are received due to slips and falls when walking. One of the most effective ways to prevent such injuries is the application of rock salt to affected surfaces.

It was in 1938 that the properties of rock salt (scientifically known as 'granular sodium chloride') began to be explored by municipal scientists in the USA. When rock salt was discovered to be an extremely successful way of melting ice, the material quickly started to be used on roads from 1941. Its use became more widespread and today is used all over the world to prevent accidents.

Rock salt is mined from underground seams, which were formed during the evaporation of ancient oceans. A combination of dynamite and massive shovelling machines is used to break off giant slabs of the salt, which then travel along many kilometres of conveyor belts to the surface. From there, they are taken to processing plants to be crushed into rock salt.

When rock salt (often referred to simply as 'grit') mixes with moisture, it forms a solution of brine. This solution has a freezing point much lower than that of plain water and so it melts the snow, frost and ice it has been applied to. The result is a safe, slip-free surface, whether that surface is a road, pavement, path, driveway, patio or anything else.

As a natural product, rock salt is non-toxic and does not damage the environment; any residual material will be diluted and disposed of by natural processes. In addition to melting ice that has already formed, rock salt can be used as a preventative when applied before predicted low temperatures.

At Greengate's, your local builder's merchant, we can supply top-quality rock salt in convenient 25kg bags or cost-effective bulk packages. As well as standard rock salt used in the municipal and industrial sectors, we can also supply white salt. Suitable for commercial and domestic use, white salt helps to prevent staining of indoor floors and walking surfaces.

Please get in touch with the Greengate's team for further details about our rock salt.

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