Top five myths about road gritting busted

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Author: | Updated: 05 Jan 2021 14:24

2020 brought many things with it. But one positive was it was a White Christmas. Yay. We’ve not had one of those in a long while.


It’s cold out there right now and we want to make sure you understand the facts regarding road gritting, so you can protect your lovely new lease car. So, we caught up with The Gritting Company to bust some myths.

The winter wagons contain grit

Myths about snow and ice in the UK

False. An easy mistake to make, it’s salt not grit. Grit can leave a sticky residue with the risk of a slippery road surface, grit can also block drains as it washes away which could result in more problems for motorists. The alternative is salt. Brown rock salt (commonly mistaken for grit) is generally spread on large road surfaces because it is more economical, whilst white salt is more expensive and is mainly used in the grounds of schools, hospitals and business parks.

Salt will melt ice at any temperature 

Myths about snow and ice in the UK

False. Put your safety goggles on and lets get sciencey. Salt works by lowering the temperature at which water will freeze, and this prevents ice forming on the roads. The more concentrated the salt, the lower the freezing point. However, salt is less effective below minus five degrees Celsius. At lower temperatures, ice and snow treated with salt melts less quickly.

Once the salt has been spread on the road, the ice will melt immediately

Myths about snow and ice in the UK

False. If only. De-icing relies on the salt being crushed and spread by passing vehicles’ tyres. This is why quieter roads and side streets take longer to melt compared to motorways.

Deep snow on roads will melt quickly with salt spread on it

Myths about snow and ice in the UK

False. Salt works best on snow that is less than 4cm, and the traffic is needed to help distribute the salt.

It’s too cold for snow

Myths about snow and ice in the UK

True–ish, in the UK. Yes, there is a link between the temperature of the air and how much water it can hold. But this is only true when the temperature plummets beneath minus 40 degrees Celsius, which does not usually happen in the UK.  When this temperature is reached, the air has so little moisture in it that snow can rarely form.

Winter is here and it’s not going for a while. Here’s some top tips that’ll help keep you safe during the cold snap and our top five tips for de-icing your car in the winter.

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