Tag Archives: ice

Bagged or Bulk Salt?

Whenever our company considers servicing a new property for snow and ice management, we first determine what type of ice melt material will be required to properly service the site.  To be more precise, will the ice melt material needed be packaged in 50 pound bags or will it be in bulk form.

Generally speaking, larger paved parking lot areas will be serviced using bulk material whenever possible.  Bulk ice melt material requires suitable dry storage (short/long term, on/off-site, etc.),  dedicated wheeled bucket loader and specialized truck mounted bulk material spreader powered by either hydraulic pump, gas engine or electric motor.  There is no doubt that bulk salt requires a large investment in material handling equipment and proper storage, but once setup, bulk salt can be efficiently spread over large areas to quickly achieve the final outcome desired.

Sidewalks, driveways, small parking areas, etc. are generally serviced by spreading a suitable non-clumping bagged ice melt material using small pickup truck mounted tailgate spreaders,  walk behind rotary or drop spreaders (manually pushed or propelled by gas engine power) or even spread by hand in glove, pulled directly out of a 5 gallon bucket, to complete the targeted application required.

BULK ICE MELT MATERIAL

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Pros
  • Pound-for-pound, the price of delivered bulk material is less expensive than it’s bagged material equivalent.
  • Available in large semi-truck quantities (20-22 tons per delivered load).
  • Can apply over large open areas quickly and efficiently.
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Cons
  • Requires expensive equipment to move and load material.
  • Requires storage in a large dry dedicated bin or steel container to prevent material loss/run-off.
  • Prone to bulk salt material shortages (limited or non-existent local area supply) during on-going heavy winter weather seasons.
  • Price-per-ton of bulk salt increases rapidly (25% > 75%+/-) when material shortages are anticipated or finally realized.

BAGGED ICE MELT MATERIAL

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Pros
  • Available to purchase in very small quantities (50 pound bag).
  • Plastic bag packaging keeps material dry and clump-free.
  • Bags delivered neatly stacked on a wood pallet (49-55 bags per pallet) and wrapped in plastic.
  • Less prone to material clumping or hardening if plastic bag packaging remains sealed.
  • Even during times of bulk salt shortages, bagged ice melt material generally remains available for purchase albeit at a higher price.
  • Amount of ice melt material used can be accurately quantified on a job-by-job basis.
  • Material remains dry until bags are opened to fill spreader at time of application.
  • Can stack and store pallets of bagged material indefinitely and without loss as long as material remains dry.

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Cons
  • More expensive than bulk material equivalent.
  • Additional labor required to repeatedly lift, open and pour sealed bags into spreading equipment.
  • Need to dispose of discarded plastic bag packaging and wood shipping pallets.

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to discuss snow and ice management services needed at your local Chicagoland area property.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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What it means to be a snow removal contractor after 25 years ……………….

From time to time, I just stop, look around at my winter surroundings, and consider myself very fortunate to be involved in an industry that is so challenging (on both the body and mind) yet rewarding all the same.

Over the last 25 plus years I have learned much, had the opportunity to service great clients and work with super-talented people in extreme winter conditions that most people try to avoid.  Through it all, I remain humble and ready to serve those that count on us to clear their properties of snow and ice.  Since “Old Man Winter” is normally in control as to when our services are needed, we just do what we can to follow as closely behind as possible 🙂 .

A way of life for sure, but I would have it no other way!!

Please consider Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to service your long term snow and ice removal needs.  We would love to help any way we can.  Thank you for visiting our site and we wish you nothing but the best for this 2018-19 winter season and beyond!

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NO WINTER VACATIONS!!

Pacocha - Weather Forecast UncertaintyWe just had quite the winter weather experience here in the Chicago area.  Weather forecasters were predicting anywhere from 5-10 inches of snow for our area.  Over the past 3 or 4 days, all we heard from the major news networks was to prepare for a major winter storm that was heading our way (high winds, heavy snow, etc.).  Ok, fine by us.  We are ready, let’s do it!!  We’ll, fast forward 12 hours and we had basically no accumulated snow on paved surfaces (barely a trace in a few areas), temperatures remained slightly above freezing and the forecasters proved to be entirely wrong yet again.  Of course, no big deal either way.  However, a day in the life of a snow management professional is one that has no guarantee.

Our customers rely on us to make trusted service related decisions while “babysitting” winter weather from November thru early April.  Our clients expect prompt service all winter long and whenever the need arises.

Snow Management Professionals take NO WINTER VACATIONS!  

Pacocha - Snow Melting on Contact - Above FreezingWhether we experience a fast moving ice storm overnight or a multi-day blizzard, we are expected to be properly equipped, ready and able to act in a very timely manner.

On behalf of our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc., we would like to thank our valued clients for yet another wonderful winter season and we look forward to earning your business well into the future!

Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

 

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Calcium Chloride ……. when only THE BEST will do!

Pacocha - Walks Cleared of Snow and Calcium Chloride AppliedDepending on actual pavement and ambient temperatures (+/- 32 degrees) at time of application, you can effectively melt light snow and ice (up to 1″+/-) within a very short period of time.  With just a single application, calcium chloride is very effective at eliminating the formation of ice on pedestrian and vehicle traversed pavement.

Pacocha - Calcium Chloride Treated Walk Main EntryCalcium chloride is not perfect, but it is considered to be the finest form of deicing material available (in it’s pure granular pellet form – in particular) due to it’s ability to easily melt snow and ice at very low temperatures (-25F).  It also creates relatively low environmental stress to nearby plants, lawns, etc. (compared to sodium chloride – rock salt) and can be purchased in small or large quantities at a relatively fair price.  A 50lb. bag of calcium chloride normally comes in a very durable plastic bag that can be rolled closed for long term storage (as/if needed).  As long as the calcium chloride material remains dry (stored in it’s original plastic bag if possible and not left open to attract moisture from the atmosphere), it will remain active, granular and ready to spread whenever the need arises.

Pacocha - Manually Handling Calcium ChlorideManually spreading calcium chloride by hand (directly from plastic bag or a 5 gallon plastic bucket wearing PVC coated gloves) is the preferred approach for small paved areas.  However, large area applications will require the use of a walk behind rotary/drop type spreader or a vehicle mounted material spreader for best results.

Areas best served by the melting power of calcium chloride are:

  • Pacocha - Basketball Court Area Treated with Calcium ChlorideDriveways
  • Small Parking Lots
  • Sidewalks
  • Entry Ways
  • Patios
  • Ramps
  • Staircases
  • Loading Docks
  • Frozen Gutters and Downspouts
  • Brick, Cured Concrete, Asphalt, etc.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to learn more about our ice melt application programs and other snow related services.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our site and have a great day!

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Excellent Winter Weather and Snow Accumulation Forecasting Websites

Here are a few fantastic websites that provide very detailed winter weather forecast information so you can prepare well in advance for winter’s worst.

1). Weather Underground 

2). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 

3). AccuWeather

4). The Weather Channel

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any snow or ice removal service request you may have for your greater Chicagoland property.

Thank you for visiting!

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Recommended Ice Melt Material……… Thunder Melt!

If you are responsible for winter maintenance (ice melting and plowing snow) at a northern Illinois commercial property, I highly recommend taking a look at this particular bulk ice melt material to properly service your property.

It is not very often that a material has a lasting impression on me (bulk deicing salt inPacocha - Stainless Steel V Box Salt Spreader Truck particular), but this this experience is different.  After many years of storing, grinding and even milling down frozen clump-prone untreated rock salt in preparation of spreading eventually, along comes a treated salt product that really surpasses all other bulk ice melt materials we have used to date.  It’s called Thunder Melt and is sold by Conserv FS.  It melts snow and ice very effectively and truly remains granular and machine spreadable no matter the sub-freezing temperature.

Material details for your review:

  • Cut application rate by 25%-30%
  • Safe surface faster and lasts longer with less product used
  • Resistant to wind and bounce
  • Non-caking and does not clump or clog application equipment
  • Delivered in semi truck loads of 22-24 tons (only)
  • More effective at lower temperatures than straight sodium chloride
  • Formulated with patented corrosion inhibitor
  • Sold and delivered by Conserv FS

Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc.Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for all your snow and ice management related needs.  Thank you for taking the time to visit our site.  Have a great day!

 

 

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Improved Snow Management Services: Provide unobstructed on-site areas to adequately accommodate snow plowed piles

Whenever visiting a new prospective snow and ice management property, one of the first things we quickly notice is if there are any plants, fences, sprinkler heads and/or any other obstructions located within anticipated plowed snow stacking areas.

Pacocha - Skid Steer Loader with Containment Plow

Plentiful OPEN and UNOBSTRUCTED snow piling areas usually translate into maximum snow clearing efficiency and reduced cost of overall service.

Here are a few important details that if implemented, will further improve the quality of snow and ice management services currently performed at your property.

  • Prepare a formal plan with your snow removal service provider that indicates acceptable on-site locations where any/all plowed snow can be staged.
  • Avoid (or relocate) delicate ornamental fencing and non-critical signage located adjacent to plowed drives, roads, parking lot and sidewalk areas (if possible).Pacocha - Entry Snow Drift Removal
  • Ensure irrigation system components (heads, risers, etc.) are installed properly below the soil surface to avoid shovel, snow blower or snow plow contact/damage.
  • If plants must be installed within the 4′ wide (or less) areas surrounding snow plowed or ice melt treated surfaces, be sure to choose salt tolerant/hardy/sturdy plant varieties that can tolerate winter related stress.
  • Be sure to install snow marker stakes (at least 2′-4′ tall) along the edges of inconspicuous parking lot and sidewalk areas targeted for snow removal.
  • If possible, place mobile garbage containers/dumpsters in an area that will not interfere with planned snow piling, stacking or staging areas.
  • If property has limited parking spaces available (overall), be sure to use traffic cones or other temporary markers to ensure no vehicles park within specified parking stall spaces needed for snow staging/piling.

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Please remember that when hiring a qualified contractor to clear snow and ice from your site, it is very beneficial (for the property owner and contractor alike) if adequate open space is made readily available for shoveled, pushed or plowed snow.

Please contact our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for any snow and ice removal services needed at your northwest suburban Chicago area property.

Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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How much does 1 cubic yard of deicing salt weigh anyway?

Here is a little experiment our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. did to quickly verify how much rock salt (by weight) would fit into a 1 yard loader bucket.

Pacocha - Bagged Salt to Equal 1 Ton - 40 Bags of 50 pound salt bags Empty 1 Yard BucketWe started by filling the 1 yard bucket with 50lb. bags of rock salt (our known weight constant).

Pacocha - Filling Bagged Salt in Bucket to Equal 1 Ton - 40 Bags of 50 pound salt bags

Bulk deicing salt generally weighs about 80 lbs. per cubic foot (1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet) which equals 2,160 lbs. per cubic yard or just over 1 ton.

Pacocha - Almost Filled Bucket with Bagged Salt to Equal 1 Ton - 40 Bags of 50 pound salt bags

The moisture content of salt will also play a part in it’s overall weight at any given time.

Pacocha - Filled Bucket with Bagged Salt to Equal 1 Ton - 40 Bags of 50 pound salt bags

We filled the 1 yard material bucket with 40 bags (50 lbs. each) of deicing rock salt.  Since of course 2,000 lbs. equals 1 ton, we can quickly rationalize (without the use of a scale) that generally speaking, 1 ton of deicing salt can easily translate into 1 yard of material by volume.

Pacocha - Bagged Salt to Equal 1 Ton - 40 Bags of 50 pound salt bags Full

40 – 50lb. bags of Diamond Crystal Winter Melt (Rock Salt – Halite) placed in a 1 yard material bucket pictured.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for more information on our extremely reliable Chicago area snow and ice management services.

 

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Trust, but verify! Snow, sleet and ice accumulation reporting by a third party certified meteorologist.

A very important part of our customer service approach at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. is the ability to keep very detailed records of any/all services performed at a client’s property (snow and ice management services in particular).  Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc.Whether it be an itemized invoice to indicate the exact services performed during each individual winter event, time related records to verify when services were performed or even quantifying the amount and/or type of ice melt material used, we insist on providing our valued clients this information so they can continually determine the value of any/all services rendered.  Pacocha - VBox Salt SpreaderIn addition to all of the winter service related operational detail our company stores and maintains, we also employ the services of Murray and Trettel, Inc. (Weather Command staff of professional certified meteorologists).  The team over at Murray and Trettel, Inc. provides our company with a snowfall accumulation report by event to verify any/all snow or ice accumulation that occurs on any given date.  Pacocha - Snow Accumulation ReportThe detailed snow and ice reports indicate the average amount of snow that has accumulated on a per city basis, start and stop times of each snow event and even a seasonal snow accumulation total by city.  Please be sure to contact our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to assist with any commercial, industrial or residential snow and ice management need you may have.  Thank you for reading about our company and have a great day!

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On-site ice melt material storage for maximum application efficiency!

Pacocha - Bulk Treated Salt Being Dumped at a PropertyEvery winter, property owners, managers and of course contractors rely heavily on the ability to melt troublesome snow and ice from our paved roads, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks.  A common snow and ice melting practice includes the application of specific granular and/or liquid ice melt materials (sodium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, etc.) directly to paved surfaces either before, during and/or after a winter precipitation event.  Ice free pavement can be readily achieved with the right ice melt material, calibrated application equipment and proper timing.  A great way to ensure the best application timing and to reduce the cost of ice melt materials applied is by maintaining adequate seasonal ice melt supply directly at the property being serviced.

Pacocha - Loader at entry of steel salt storage containerHere are a few proven ways to store granular ice melt materials (bulk or bagged) at your commercial or industrial property.

1). Temporary steel storage container (also known as a shipping container or conex box). Sizes vary from 10′ to 53′ in length, 8′-10′ in width and up to 9.5′ tall.  Containers can be rented or purchased.

2). Unused garages or sheds.

3). Temporary bulk material bin made from Pacocha - Stacked concrete block salt bindry stacked precast concrete blocks.  Blocks normally come in sizes from 3′ to 6′ long and are 2′ wide and 2′ tall.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any winter service related questions you may have.  Thank you for reading our blog and have a great day!

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