The Risks and Rewards of Salting Asphalt

October, 28, 2020 By CASSIDY PAVING 3 min read

If you live in the New England area, you are probably very familiar with the use of salt on driving surfaces during the winter. Cassidy Paving uses and recommends salt throughout the winter as the best option for maintaining driveable and safe asphalt pavement. Salting asphalt works well because, according to Scientific American, salt impedes the ability of the water molecules to form solid ice crystals. Getting the perfect mix of salt onto the roadways allows a change in the freezing point. Although there is some risk in using salt, the benefits and reward can be exponentially greater.

Degradation to Structures

Depending on the type of structures you have near your pavement, salt could be pretty harsh to brick and concrete. Over time, salt can cause deterioration for these materials. But despite popular belief, it does not harm asphalt in the same way. Although this is not often a big problem for our commercial and industrial customers, driveways often have structures that are made out of these materials.

Environmental Impact

Although an unintended consequence, salt runoff does have negative impacts on plant and animal life. Salt dehydrates plants and disrupts their lifecycle. Wildlife also is affected because of two things: attraction to salt on the roads and salt toxicity. Animals, like deer, are attracted to salt on the roads and can be more likely to cause collisions with vehicles, but other animals can have fatal consequences with just a small amount consumed. As the snow melts, the salt also gets into local waterways and raises the salt to water content. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services says that “this leads to the bottom layer of the water body becoming void of oxygen and unable to support aquatic life”.

The Rewards

The risks listed above should not completely deter you from using salt on your asphalt this winter. Salt is a cheap and effective way to control the ice on roads across the country. This is why it is used so often despite any dangers. Salt is easy to acquire and apply to the roads. Companies like Cassidy Paving, can stockpile it and it maintains its effectiveness throughout time it's in storage. We even prefer to stockpile salt so that our customers have limited wait times for supplies as soon as the first snow falls.

The biggest attribute of salt is that it successfully melts roadway ice. There is no other element that better tackles harsh winter ice and snow issues quite like salt. It makes it possible for states, like Massachusetts, to continue thriving, even during harsh winters. Salt even gives vehicles much-needed friction for travel that is often lost on slick winter roadways.. Making the roads safer and easier to maneuver is our biggest priority.

Asphalt Paving Services

Before the first snowflake falls, you should have a plan for snow and ice removal. Cassidy Paving offers flexible and scalable snow removal services with salt for customers across Massachusetts. If you prefer to have snow removal on your own terms, we can help. Give us a call today at 866-978-9788 to learn about our per push, per storm, and per season contracts.

Filed Under: Asphalt

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Cassidy Asphalt Paving

Based in Haverhill, MA, Cassidy Paving is a commercial paving company serving southern NH and Massachusetts.

Cassidy Paving

Mission Statement: Delivering commercial and industrial paving services with courteous service, clear communication, and consistent results.

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