So far it has been a pretty dry and mild start our winter season.  Technically, Winter doesn't start till December 22, but the threat of winter storms starts around mid-November so we have been diligent in monitoring and preparing for winter snow and ice weather.  Just yesterday we performed the first winter weather service by applying liquid deicer to parking lots as the wet pavement from weekend rain and at or below freezing temperatures created some black ice. We are in an El Nino pattern which will likely be drier and warmer than normal but snow and ice conditions have still occurred during El Nino years. forecast


Liquid deicer service occurs the night before, when ice conditions are forecast and is designed to protect customers from black ice and heavy frost that can coat parking lots, making them slippery. This is for those marginal, but often dangerous conditions. This does not replace the need for plowing or sanding once snow or freezing rain falls, as the deicer is quickly diluted or covered up.
Although it does not occur every year, snow storms that result in over 3" of snow, plowing is recommended. Under these conditions, pre-treating and sanding alone are not effective.  Parking lots can become unpassable without the snow being plowed and piled up. Plowing is designed to improve vehicle safety, not pedestrian walking. Plowing does not ensure pedestrian safety in parking lots.

During snow and ice events, regardless of deicing or plowing, sanding is the most effective way to make parking lots as safe as possible for cars. Pre-treatment with deicer is only effective with light ice or light snow events and may be covered with snow or freezing rain. Sanding is also recommended after plowing as the plowing will not remove all snow and the remaining think layer is often quite slippery. Sanding is designed to improve vehicle safety and does not ensure pedestrian safety in parking lots.  
When snow or ice does occurs, we will shovel sidewalks to remove as much as possible, then we'll treat the remaining frozen precipitation with granular deicer. Shoveling and deicer application will improve pedestrian safety but while temperatures remain below freezing, ice or slip free conditions are impossible to maintain. 
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