If you're not using brine in your snow and ice removal operation, then you probably don't know what it is and how big of a difference it will make for you. Brine is a simple solution, typically made by dissolving rock salt in water. With the correct ratio, around 23% salt, it can be used as an anti-icing agent applied before a snow storm. Once applied, the brine will prevent a bond from forming between the snow and outdoor surface, making it a great deal easier to get a clean clear. That alone is a large enough benefit, but brine can also play another important role in snow and ice removal.
When rock salt is pre-wet with a liquid like a brine solution, it is more likely to stick to where it was applied. And when your ice melt goes exactly where you want it, you can cover an outdoor surface more efficiently, reducing your salt application rates by up to 20 percent. If you can save time and money simply by using two things you are already purchasing, salt and water, why not consider implementing brine into your operation?
Although the brine itself is a relatively inexpensive product, if you are not already equipped for it, there is some equipment you may have to invest in. Here are some of the tools used when working with brine:
Tank Sprayers: Tank sprayers are ideal when you have to cover smaller surface areas like sidewalks and stairs. Their wands allow for the most accurate applications of brine. If work as a landscaper, you most likely have a few of these already at your shop for pesticide application and can me used for de-icing products as well. The downside to tank sprayers is their relatively small capacity and heavy weight if carried for long peroids of time.
Push Sprayers: Push sprayers are ideal for smaller to medium sized surface areas and have the ability to spray brine through the spot spraying wand or front boomless nozzle. That means you can make short work of some of the toughest applications, like stairs and sidewalks. With large capacity, push sprayers will do the job of several tank sprayers and without the pain of carrying them in hand or on your back.
Truck-Mounted Sprayers: Designed specifically for brine applications, these truck-mounted sprayers are quiet, easy to maintain and ideal for most off-road applications. These fully electric-powered units help contractors reduce salt usage while increasing their level of service. Multi-zone controls activate the center boom nozzles, curb spraying nozzles and spot spraying wand. Operate one zone at a time, or use them all at once.
Brine Makers: Now, just about anyone can make brine. That’s because the SnowEx Brine Pro™ 2000 brine maker simplifies production with user-friendly operation, automatic salinity control and easy no-splash salt refilling. Basically, it removes all guesswork from the process, helping contractors confidently take brine making into their own hands. Plus, the system is compatible with low-flow water input and 220VAC electrical sources that are available in most shops. It doesn’t get any easier than this.
If you are considering the addition of brine to your snow and ice removal operation, be sure to weigh the upfront costs versus what you will save over several seasons. If you have any questions about brine, the equipment, or getting started, stop by your local Russo location and chat with one of our ice melt professionals.
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