Summer gritting – the top reasons why the heatwave brings out the gritters
As the heatwave reaches the UK, bringing with it record-breaking temperatures, you may be wondering why you’re seeing council winter gritters out on the road. Don’t worry, they’re not a mirage, and summer gritting is more common than you might think!
As the gritting experts, we know hope to protect the roads and keep people safe. Here are the top reasons why you may see the gritters out working and summer gritting when it’s hot.
Winter salt and fine hard stone dust
Salt doesn’t just melt ice, it can also be used to stop asphalt from melting. Salt attracts moisture from the ambient air and cools the asphalt; it also removes excess moisture from the asphalt itself making it less sticky.
Alongside spreading salt, hard stone in the form of fine dust is commonly used. The hard stone absorbs the soft bitumen and stabilises the road surface. Hard stone is less corrosive than salt, which is more popular with motorists and areas where a low corrosive alternative is needed.
Road surface temperature
When road temperatures get beyond the 40 degrees Celsius mark, British road surfaces become vulnerable to melting and without some proactive measures, can start to deteriorate.
In laboratory tests, road surfaces do withstand temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius, but during any mini heatwave, the temperature can go as high as 55 degrees Celsius.
High temperatures, heavy traffic and summer gritting
All it takes is a few days of warm temperatures and clear sunshine and our roads begin to melt. High temperatures combined with heavy traffic can pull up the softened asphalt from the road surface, making it vulnerable to further damage from vehicles and the environment.
The current heatwave has already brought out the surface gritters in many parts of the country, as we look to protect the roads. As temperatures are set to increase due to climate change, it will be an extremely common sight to see gritters operating in both the summer and winter months.
Start preparing your winter maintenance plans today
There is no time like the present to start preparing your winter maintenance plans. Our advice couldn’t be simpler: don’t wait until it gets cold before booking your winter services.
To find out how we can work together, or to obtain a free winter gritting quote or site inspection, please contact us today.
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