Best Practices for Ice Melt Application at Senior Care Facilities

Understanding how and when to use ice melt is key to reducing slippery conditions in winter.

By Jeff Wardon, Jr., Assistant Editor

Even with winter now turning over into spring, it is generally a sound idea to have an ice melt plan in place for every winter. In particular, senior care facilities can benefit from applying ice melt to their premises. It will help protect potentially vulnerable elders from injuring themselves on the slippery ice. 

“Having a plan in place prior to the winter season can help minimize the risk of slips and falls on ice and slippery surfaces,” says Phil Carrizales, director of hygiene and facility solutions for Acme Paper and Supply. “Having a plan in place for senior living centers is a must.  It is also a good idea for those seniors still living at home independently.” 

Timing is key as well, since a facility does not want to apply ice melt too early or too late. Carrizales recommends applying a thin layer of ice melt right before a storm strikes, then applying another thin layer during the storm itself. Carrizales adds that this makes it easier to shovel and clear away the snow or ice. Once the ice is removed, sidewalks and other walkways become much safer for not only elders to traverse, but visitors and employees as well. 

There are also a few additional best practices to follow with ice melt. 

“First read the instructions,” says Carrizales. “For example, when using a calcium or magnesium chloride product, it is important that workers cover their hands.  More is not better, light even layers before and during a storm work better than placing massive amounts on the surface.  A hand-held fertilizer spreader works great in tight areas.” 

All in all, ice melt requires proper knowledge and timeliness for it to be used correctly. When used right, it can reduce potential slipping hazards for those traversing around a senior care facility. Most importantly, it provides peace of mind for walking about when those frosty and icy winter days come back around.  

Jeff Wardon, Jr., is the assistant editor for the facilities market. 

April 20, 2023

Topic Area: Maintenance and Operations

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