When Jon Agg and his partner started their year-round property services business in 2005, they looked for a deicing solution to set them apart from their competitors. At a time when most of the winter maintenance industry was using traditional white road salt, Pristine Property Maintenance in Toronto, ON, chose something a little different. And a little greener.
“The deicer we selected was a bit more expensive, but it was worth it to show our customers that we were more conscientious about the environment and more particular about not scattering product on their lawns,” said Agg.
The product Agg and his partner chose is called ClearLane enhanced deicer, produced by Cargill Deicing Technology. It is a green-tinted granular deicer that has been designated as a Design for the Environment product by the U.S. EPA. The product is made up of traditional sodium chloride that contains deicing additives and is prewetted with liquid magnesium chloride.
“We became known as the guys spreading the green salt,” said Agg. “And it obviously had a lot of other benefits besides that, like having a faster reaction time, working better in colder temps and not hardening overnight like salt often can.”
Providing winter maintenance services for about 150 condominium properties in the Toronto area, Agg and Pristine Property Maintenance looked to local supplier Arnts Topsoil to provide the approximately 2,000 tons of enhanced deicer they used each season.
“Like Pristine Property, the majority of our customers are treating plazas, residential streets, malls, schools and township roads,” said Nathan Zak, operations manager at Arnts Topsoil. “We’re always looking to provide customers with products that are a better value that will help them do their jobs more efficiently, and I always recommend a treated or prewet salt.”
Clearing snow and ice with as much efficiency as possible is a top priority for Agg and his staff of approximately 100 employees, and they keep things moving efficiently thanks to the non-clumping and non-hardening feature of the enhanced deicer.
“At the end of the night, every winter maintenance professional is tired,” said Agg. “You park your truck and you go to sleep. And you may have some deicer left in the back of your truck. With regular white salt, guys would have horror stories of waking up and having a block of salt, hard as a rock in their truck. With the enhanced deicer, you can go a good week before you get to that worrying point of hardening.”
“Regular salt will go hard in the box, so at the end of an event, if a driver still has product left over, they would either have to find some place to spin it off or dump it, and that wastes the product,” said Zak. “The treated product can sit there for a long time—as long as there isn’t any precipitation on it—and that saves our customers a lot of time and a lot of money.”