The anti-icing solution used by Sudden Valley has a functional life span of 2-3 days if it does not rain and is not scrapped off by the snow plow. Any anti-icing solution is laid down on the road as it is being plowed will be scraped off as the surface is re-plowed due to snow accumulation. For this reason, most State Department of Transportation procedures do not apply de-icer or sand while snow is falling.
The current mixed solution, a clear liquid, used by Sudden Valley, is a combination of magnesium chloride, salt brine, a rust inhibitor and water and is most effective in the range of 26 degrees F to 32 degrees F. This solution is an anti-icing compound.
The anti-icing solution does not absorb heat from the sun. When the anti-icing solution is combined with sand the sand absorbs radiant heat from the sky enabling a warming effect to the magnesium chloride/brine solution allowing it to react better with the frozen surface and adhere to hard surfaces such as compact snow and ice. When applied to the surface of compact snow or ice at temperatures of 20 F or below, the melting effect is very slow.
Because many of the roads within Sudden Valley have a high tree canopy covering them, use of the anti-icing solution with sand on a slippery surface is minimal. Repeated applications must be put on the surface to obtain small results when temperatures reach the lower 20s and below. The effect improves as temperatures rise.
Use of an anti-icing solution on wet or slush covered roads is ineffective because the solution is quickly diluted. In some cases, as described in “how to use” instructions, it will actually cause roads to become slippery.
Some commercial liquid chemical compounds are designed to perform both anti-icing and de-icing functions. De-icing is the application of a chemical compound to the surface of ice in order to create a chemical reaction that generates heat resulting in the melting of the ice. De-icing solutions are only effective to the point of being diluted as the ice turns to water. The cost of a de-icing solution is approximately twice as much as the cost of the anti-icing solution Sudden Valley uses (approximately $500 compared to $1,000 for 270 gallons). Each large truck has the capacity of 250 gallons and can expend that amount of solution within an hour during a snow event.