The two main reasons for covering road salt in salt barns are to save money and avoid pollution.
The soluble nature of road salt means that up to 10% of it is washed away by rain when left uncovered – that’s money down the drain.
Wet salt is also more difficult to spread efficiently. The National Winter Service Research Group (NWSRG) estimates we waste a further 8% a year by overspreading road salt because it is wet.
In addition to this, wet road salt can cause bridging in the hopper and blockages in the shute leading to the spinner. Drivers have to stop to sort blockages out, slowing the operation down. And they may even have to go back and respread stretches of road that went ungritted during the blockage.
Simply keeping the salt dry in a covered building helps avoid these problems.
As well as significantly improving operational efficiency, containing salt stocks and keeping them dry goes a long way to avoiding pollution. The environmental impact of salt leaking into local water courses can be huge – as are the costs of expensive court cases and fines faced by polluters.
RSG Structures offers several options for salt barns but robust, concrete walls are usually used. Not only do they stand up to accidental knocks from vehicles operating in and around them but they also allow road salt to be piled against them, giving tractors something to push against when filling their buckets to load gritting trucks.
Tensioned membrane buildings are the most popular choice for the roof. This option makes the finished building very quick and cost-effective to build and very practical to operate in.
In such buildings, the membranes themselves are held up by steel roof trusses which are properly galvanised to ensure longevity. These are attached to the tops of the concrete walls.
There are several compelling advantages offered by tensioned membrane buildings:
• low construction costs because materials are cheap, easy to transport and quick to erect
• low on-going costs as all materials require minimal maintenance
• finished buildings are light inside and warmer in winter, making them easy to work in and keeping moisture levels low.
As we are totally independent of our suppliers, RSG provides totally impartial design advice based on more than 30 years’ experience and know-how. And we source materials from any supplier, ensuring we get the most cost-effective solution.
We also offer a full design-and-build package, including the design, materials-sourcing, groundwork and final construction. This makes it easier for our customers with just one point of contact – RSG.
If you have a salt store that needs covering – no matter what the size – call RSG structures for free advice.