How to Spread Rock Salt and Grit

Rock salt and grit are used during the winter on roads, public areas and areas around business premises and homes to minimise the risk of injury and accidents due to slippery surfaces. With this in mind, we’ve put together a few facts and a quick guide on how and when to use rock salt/grit effectively.

Why use rock salt and grit?

In simple terms,  rock salt is used because it has a lower freezing point than water. By spreading rock salt onto a road, path or driveway it reduces the chances of moisture freezing on the surface. In sub zero temperatures any water on areas which have not been treated with rock salt/grit, will freeze and create an unsafe surface for people and vehicles.

Spreading rock salt ensures that the areas around homes and businesses are safer and reduce the chances of people falling and slipping. If you are a company with a building which has land and access areas to your building, it is your duty to make the area is safe for your employees. The Health and Safety Executive state:

Employers have to ensure that their employees and anyone else who could be affected by their work (such as visitors, members of the public, patients etc) are kept safe from harm and that their health is not affected.

More details about winter safety in the work place can be found on the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/logistics/slips-trips-bad-weather.htm

When should rock salt/grit be spread?

The optimum time to use rock salt is before a frost/snow is forecast, as this will then help to prevent the ice forming on the ground and prevent snow from settling.

Rock salt can also be spread on top of snow after it has settled to help the snow melt, or weaken the structure allowing it to be moved much more easily.

What are the best methods to spread rock salt?

Rock salt can be spread manually using a shovel or a scoop and we also recommend using gloves. The rock salt should be distributed evenly over the surface area. We recommend spreading between 10 – 30 grams of rock salt per square metre to prevent ice and frost forming. If snow is forecast, we recommend increasing this quantity to 25-50 grams of rock salt per square metre.

If you need to treat a larger area, we recommend that you use a salt spreader. There are various available from handheld spreaders, push along spreaders, right up to motorised ride on salt spreaders. These machines allow you to spread rock salt at different rates quickly and easily.