Scared to Slip when Temperatures Dip? Halt the Assault with Greengates Rock Salt!

Though the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere is commonly considered to be on the first day of December, in astronomical terms it begins with the winter solstice. This annual event occurs when the North Pole reaches its maximum tilt facing away from the sun, resulting in the shortest day and longest night of the year. 

This year, the winter solstice will occur on Friday 22nd December — at 3:27 AM if you want to be precise about it! Though that is just under a full month away, the weather right now is already pretty horrible, with temperatures routinely dropping below freezing in many parts of the UK.

At best, the winter weather is an inconvenience: it disrupts the rhythms of everyday life in numerous ways from affecting transport links to causing a sharp increase in energy bills due to switching lights on earlier and cranking up the heating indoors. More serious is the buildup of ice and snow on roads, pavements, patios, driveways and other surfaces which, as well as being inconvenient, can also be extremely dangerous.

Every year, thousands of people are injured by slipping and falling when walking on surfaces covered with snow and ice; many of these injuries are serious enough to warrant hospital treatment. When it comes to roads, the level of danger is much greater as drivers lose control of their vehicles. Tragically, such incidents are sometimes fatal. 

One way to dramatically reduce the potential for these injuries to occur during the long months of winter is the application of rock salt to driving and walking surfaces. Though a simple method, the use of rock salt is in fact so reliably effective that it has been employed all over the world since it was discovered in 1938.

Commonly referred to by the simple term 'grit', rock salt works by immediately creating a solution of brine when it comes into contact with moisture. Brine has a freezing point which is significantly lower than plain water and thus causes ice and snow to quickly melt. Rock salt can be used successfully on surfaces that are already covered with snow and ice though is also effective when applied to such surfaces in anticipation of predicted snowfall and low temperatures.

Greengates Builders Merchant can quickly supply you with as much top-quality rock salt as you require. In addition to the standard brown rock salt favoured by the industrial and municipal sectors, we also have white rock salt available: this is designed for use in domestic and commercial environments where the aesthetic appearance of indoor floors can be affected by staining or marking. Both types of rock salt are available in either medium- or bulk-sized bags. 

For more information about rock salt from Greengates this winter, please get in touch with our customer service team.

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