How the Winter Salt Shortage Affects You

Snow and ice removal services are important and necessary, but in the world of landscaping, it’s becoming more and more difficult with the growing shortage of de-icing salt.

Salt is one of the most important materials necessary for snow and ice management. As such, it’s in high demand.

It’s also not as readily available as it used to be.

What does this winter salt shortage mean for you, and how will it affect you, your home, or your business this winter?

Is There Really A Salt Shortage?

You may not know it, but last year finished off with an industry-wide bulk salt shortage.

This shortage was due in part to the harsh winter and a higher demand for salt in southern Ontario. Plus, the April Ice storm left stock piles of salt depleted everywhere.

This season is a different story.

Employees at the Sifto Mine (Compass Minerals) in Goderich were on strike until mid-July and the Cargill Salt Mine in Cleveland is working at only 30% capacity due to flooding in the mine.

Municipalities are ordering more salt and the salt mines have to honour existing contracts as well as fill larger contracts with municipalities first, before supplying salt to the supply yards and contractors like Wright Landscape Services.

What this means is, there is a shortfall of several millions of tonnes of salt in the supply chain.

How Wright Landscape Services is Handling the Salt Shortage

At Wright Landscape Services, we work with several suppliers, so that we never run out. It’s as simple as that.

When we first heard of the severity of the problem in August, we began to source salt for the season.

How This Year’s Salt Supply Is Different (And How It Affects You)

Our team of professionals hit the streets looking for salt suppliers outside our normal network and found sources that were asking as much as 85% higher than last year, with requirements to prepay for our salt. WE chose a local supplier with a smaller increase and a large supply.

We will also be expanding our use of liquid deicers to reduce the amount of bulk rock salt that we use and to reduce the burden on our clients.

Insurance Companies and the Salt Shortage

We think it’s important to note that there is a major shake-up happening in the snow removal industry and there may be many businesses across southern Ontario that won’t find a contractor to clear their snow this winter for the following reasons:

  • Insurance companies are dropping contractors that do not have good claim histories
  • Property managers that use “hold harmless clauses” in their contracts are having trouble getting contractors to sign their contracts.

While this is bad news for the industry, the good news is that you won’t have to worry about any of that with Wright Landscape Services’ snow removal.

No Salt? Here Are Other Snow Management Methods

If this winter brings really bad weather, here are some alternative snow management methods:

  • Electric snow blowers can clear your driveway in a matter of minutes.
  • Scatter sand or bird seed for good traction on your slippery driveway and pathways.
  • Kitty litter and wood ashes don’t actually melt snow or ice, and they leave your area looking unkempt when the weather warms up.
  • Good old shoveling. Stay ahead of the game and minimize snow and ice by shoveling regularly. Shoveling before the snow has a chance to pack and turn into ice is best!

Let Us Handle Your Snow Clearing This Winter

When Old Man Winter does his worst, you need snow management services you can count on. And regardless of the weather, our specialized and professional team can take care of your snow clearing for you.

Give us a call to get signed up for a snow removal service that meets your needs:

  • Driveways
  • Sidewalks
  • Front walks and steps
  • Porches, balconies and decks
  • Side entrances
  • And more!

Need inspiration?

When you start to think about designing the perfect yard, deck, patio or backyard oasis, it can be helpful to have some solid ideas of what you want to achieve. We can help with that.

Download our Free Design Guide