Gritting the Roads During a Heatwave?
Seeing the council gritting wagons doing their job is a common site during the winter as they provide an essential service to help keep the roads safe and free of ice. Strangely enough, councils across the UK are considering deploying rock salt across the streets during the heatwave the UK is currently experiencing this summer. This is not a mirage caused by sunstroke, this is to combat the very real risk of stopping the roads from melting!
How does gritting in the summer work?
When the weather consistently reaches temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, there is a very high risk of the tar within the roads much softer and tackier than usual which can stick to car tyres and cause long term damage to the road surface that is notoriously difficult and costly to fix.
With a healthy spread of rock salt applied to the roads, this can help create a non-stick surface that helps reduce the risk of damage to the road surface. The rock salt also helps attract moisture from the air which in turn helps with cooling the surface down.
The practice has already begun by Lancashire County Council. Councillor Keith Iddon, when speaking to the Liverpool Echo had this to say:
“We’ve been using around six of our gritting fleet to apply granite dust where this is happening. This creates a barrier to stop it sticking to people’s tyres and improve skid resistance. In some places we are also putting out signs with advisory speed limits to encourage drivers to slow down”
Due to the extremely hot weather that has been occurring throughout Europe, the practice is also being used in the Netherlands and in parts of Japan.
Rock Salt Stock levels:
As we have seen with this extreme weather as of late, it is more important that ever to be prepared, especially when it comes to road safety, so don’t let your rock salt supply run out!