Flash freezes can affect the way salt sticks to ice on the ground

Flash freezes can majorly impact the way salt sticks to ice on the ground.

Posted: Nov 12, 2019 4:26 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Flash freezes can majorly impact the way salt sticks to ice on the ground.

The West Lafayette Street Department cites Monday's snowfall as a perfect example. Street Commissioner Ben Anderson said they started salting the roads around 4 p.m. Within two hours some streets appeared clearer than others. This is because of the rapid temperature drop.

According to Anderson, one pound of salt can melt 46 pounds of ice at 30 degrees. That number drops to five pounds when the weather hits the teens.

“If you wonder why one street looks better than another street, it's all about timing and when we were there and the salt was down on the road working and then it slowly declines in the amount of effect it can have as the temperature drops,” said Anderson.

Anderson said there are a lot of factors that go into salting the roads.

"It's a science project really, in terms of what you can melt, what you can't melt, how you're going to keep it from bonding to the pavement, I mean it's a lot more than just plowing," said Anderson.

The types of salts can also play a role in how well it sticks. Anderson said they'll continue their operation of pre-treating the roads and salting as soon as possible with the next snowfall.

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