What’s on the roads?

The City of Lethbridge works very hard to maintain our roads during the winter, and it does become necessary for them to add either an anti – icing agent and de-icing agent to our roads. Here is what they are using and what you as a homeowner should be doing to alleviate spalling and damage to your driveways.

Please go to the City website to hear more about the Anti-Icing & De-Icing programs used.

Anti-icing is a proactive snow and ice control strategy intending to prevent the formation of ice on the road. The City currently uses a beet juice solution for this process.

Anti-icing involves placing a beet juice solution on the road surface before a winter storm begins in order to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the road. This allows the snow to be windrowed or cleared more easily if needed.

De-icing is a reactive approach to snow and ice control whereby a combination of sodium chloride and calcium chloride is placed on the road to break the existing bond after snow has frozen to the road surface.

De-icing uses pre wetted sodium chloride to break the bond after snow has frozen to the road surface. Four different mixtures of sodium chloride and sand are used to de-ice road surfaces. The effectiveness of sodium chloride diminishes as temperatures drop, as such the City increases the ratio of sand to create additional friction with the road surface.

Most important- sodium chloride can be corrosive and requires homeowners to wash their cars and clean their driveways to reduce exposure to your vehicle and driveway. This process is essential as if the proper maintenance is not done you may see spalling begin (where your driveway breaks into fragments), it is very important to clean off your driveway at various intervals during the winter to prevent spalling from occurring.