The nitty-gritty of dealing with icy weather

After freezing temperatures and snow caused travel delays and school closures towards the end of January, the Met Office has warned that sub-zero temperatures are ‘certain’ to return this month. With this in mind, one of the most important things for any business is the safety of its employees and visitors, particularly ensuring that they can arrive and leave a building safely.

Of course, ice and snow aren’t everyday hazards for businesses, but when the weather turns, it’s crucial that you have the right service in place to deal with any eventuality. One of the most common solutions is gritting, but what exactly is grit and how does it work?

A salty solution

The “grit” which is distributed along roads and pavements is actually rock salt, mined from ancient underground salt mines – there are more than 140 miles of salt mine tunnels in the UK alone.

It works by lowering the freezing point of the ice and moisture on the ground. This prevents ice from forming and has the added benefit of helping to melt any existing ice on the ground.

It’s all in the timing

Successful gritting is all about timing. If grit is laid down too early, it can get picked up by the wind and blown away before it has chance to be effective. But if you leave it too late, surfaces may already be frozen, presenting a risk for both visitors and staff. Add in the unpredictability of British weather, where we know snow can fall even in the spring and you can see why gritting can be such a challenge for businesses around the UK.

The best time to grit is usually during quiet periods in the day or overnight, so the site is ready for when the working day ends, and ideally for when the next day begins.

Taking a professional approach

Without monitoring the weather 24/7, it can be a challenge for business owners and facilities managers to be fully prepared for a blast of snow and ice.

The easiest and safest way to ensure your site can handle any extreme weather is to employ a professional gritting service. Whether you are responsible for commercial office space, car parks, hotels, schools, or  retail sites, Ambius has the expertise, knowledge and equipment to ensure your site remains safe and ice-free. We’re also dedicated to making the process as convenient as possible for your business, which means we’ll always try to come, overnight or when the site is vacant.

We operate using a Met Office weather watch solution, which alerts to when potentially hazardous weather conditions are on the horizon – so below 2 or 3°C. When we know these temperatures are approaching, our team will be on their way with grit, salt bags and snow shovels in hand.

The priority is always to clear any access routes, so all entrances and exits or any popular walking routes from the car park or nearby stations. In the case of heavy snowfall, we’ll clear the snow before grit is distributed and we will be sure to protect any important aspects of the local environment – for example, the salt in grit can damage flowers, foliage or grassy areas.

Ambius also provides a full breakdown of site visits, only charging by the day.

With ice and snow causing havoc across parts of the UK almost every year, a professional service will not only save you time and worry, but provide comfort for your visitors and staff.

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