Ice Melt Budgeting Tips for Snow Contractors

backhow in snow

We made it through another season of mid-Atlantic snowstorms! Whether you were working with an ice melt supplier for Washington D.C. or Southern Pennsylvania, warmer weather has come.

Now it’s time to step back and start considering what your budget should be when the snowfall comes again next season. There are ways to be able to optimize this and not have to overspend. As one of the leading ice melt suppliers in the Mid-Atlantic, here are our tips for snow contractors when budgeting for their ice melt supply next year.

Assess current ice melt supply inventory

First, you need to see what you have left in your inventory from this season. If you have a significant supply of calcium chloride or magnesium chloride and if you own a sprayer, you may want to offer dust control services. Dust control is popular on dirt and gravel roads and construction sites and a fantastic way to supplement your winter operations by using your equipment year-round. You might put most of your snow removal tools away for long-term storage, but you can still have other opportunities for some of your equipment and ice melt supplies by providing dust control services.

Using your ice melt products all year round will also give you more latitude in your budget planning. It helps when there isn’t a hard and fast ending to the season.

Know your ice melt needs

As you know, running a business already requires knowing your numbers for budgeting and forecasting. Establishing an ice melt budget also requires knowledge and measurements of your coverage area. You’ll probably be handling thousands, if not tens of thousands of square footage, and there’s some rudimentary math that can be done to help you out with it.

By rudimentary, it’s around a cup of ice melt, rock salt or road salt that needs to be used for about 18 to 20 square feet. Try to spread it around and test out the amounts before just dumping ice melt chemicals in a concentrated space. If you get yourself a 100lb bag, it’s around 160 cups to help you with the rough figure.

As an ice melt supplier for municipalities too, we understand it might not always be easy to measure in square feet for the whole town or city, so feel free to reach out to us, and we’ll let you know the estimations.

There are also different types of ice melt chemicals for different temperatures and ice severity. As anyone who is in the snow & ice management business knows, calcium chloride or calcium-based salts will work best in colder temperatures.

So if you see yourself using rock salt or Magnesium Chloride and you’re not getting much traction, don’t put more of the product on there either, as it will end up being wasted, and you’ll have to switch to the more potent product anyway.

Less is more in this industry, and so is layering, so make sure to stock up on lots of Liquid Brine. It’s cheap and helps prepare the ground for the ice melt chemicals before the coming of the storm. Then you’ll have the deicing working from underneath and above, and you’ll be able to stick to that one cup ratio mentioned above.

Consider ice melt shelf life

Ice melt shelf life is determined by how it is stored. If you want the product to last, it must be stored properly and even then, its life is not unlimited. Maybe people who work with rock salt suppliers may believe that they can buy one time and it’ll be good for five to ten years, but that’s not usually the case.

As an ice melt supplier for commercial businesses and government facilities, we can tell you that most ice melt chemicals will last around two to three years, and that’s if the moisture control is managed in the storage area. Dry storage is the key!

We all know that during those summer months, it gets hot and humid in the mid-Atlantic region, and there’s a good chance that those bulk salt items you’re storing may not be protected against the damage moisture will cause to them.

These are salt-based products, and since they’re primarily Chloride based, they’ll never technically expire. They will, however, lose their potency and effectiveness. Meaning those low-temperature solutions, such as Calcium Chloride, might stop working at warmer temperatures than in previous years.

This can start to mess up inventory levels, forecasting predictions, and annual budgets for ice melt and other deicing products. That’s why it’s always a sharp idea to resupply, at least on an annual basis, with fresh rock salt from your ice melt chemicals supplier.

You’ll be better off ordering the right amount every year than trying to stock up for the next few years. Less effective snow removal products will end up making the whole process unpredictable and hard to manage the financials.

Find the best ice melt supplier

Having the best ice melt chemicals supplier, calcium chloride supplier, magnesium chloride supplier, or other deicing suppliers ready to go year over year will help with your budgeting. In addition, you’ll be able to get quick quotes, loyalty discounts, and bulk salt discounts also contribute to reducing your costs when that time comes.

There’s a proper balance that needs to be handled to be able to maximize profits with these types of margins, and that’s why every discount, offering, or bulk ordering of any kind of deicer product will help with that mission.

Building out the relationships ahead of time will not only ensure that you’re able to save money on ice melt chemicals such as Sodium Acetate, Calcium Magnesium Acetate, or even Liquid Brine but also that you’ll get an adequate enough supply for you to offer your services as often as needed throughout the mid-Atlantic region and the stormy snow seasons.

In the end

You cannot always plan exactly what the season will be like, and it’s always a good idea to be a bit overstocked than understocked with ice melt chemicals for your snow & ice management needs. However, if you have a good ice melt supplier, like SISCU, you can plan on them being open 24/7 before, during and after the storm!

As an ice melt supplier for even bigger companies such as manufacturing and industrial companies that need these solutions not only for deicing but also for dust control, take the time to do a bit of planning.

This is because you don’t want to have an old product that you’ll need twice or three times as much of, just to be able to get the same job done in previous years. You’ll spend too much on the product and on labor when you could have easily managed it.