When winter is in full swing with no end in sight and snow, and ice keeps accumulating on your driveway, patio, porches, and walkways around your home or business, rock salt is likely high on your list for winter necessities. The ice melting properties of rock salt combined with its relatively inexpensive price make this a favorite for homeowners and business owners who live in areas that experience winter storms, snow, and ice. Rock salt works to reduce or eliminate ice from roads, driveways, walkways, and patios by creating a brine because the addition of salt lowers the overall freezing point of water; however, this briny mix begins to lose its effectiveness as temperatures approach ten degrees Fahrenheit or colder.
While rock salt is quickly effective at creating safer walkways and driveways, the same briny mixture produced when rock salt is spread over icy roads, paths, and patios can cause problems with equipment often found in and around homes and businesses, such as snow throwers, snow blowers, lawn mowers, air conditioner units, and patio furniture. As the salty brine comes in contact with coated metal surfaces such as mowers, snow blowers, and patio tables and chairs, the brine can leave a layer of salty residue on these surfaces. With each subsequent snowfall or ice storm and each subsequent application of rock salt to walkways and driveways, the salty residue can increase layer by layer.
How Does Salt Harm Equipment and Furniture?
Salt has a corrosive effect on coated metal surfaces. As salt builds up on the painted or coated surface, it begins to wear away the clear coat on the surface, then the paint underneath, until it reaches the metal. Here, at the metal core of the equipment or furniture, is where salt is the most deadly because the corrosive properties of salt lead to rust. Once the metal is rusted, it begins to weaken and cause permanent damage to the inherent structure it supports. Restoring rusted metal is possible, but this is a time-consuming task requiring the remaining paint to be stripped, the rusted metal to be removed or sanded loose, the primer to be reapplied, and the color and clear coat to be added once again.
For air conditioners on the exterior of your home or business, brine from rock salt can be even more problematic. The construction and design of an air conditioner unit are such that the brine from dissolved rock salt can easily coat the exterior of the unit while at the same time penetrate the multiple openings of the unit and create a salty residue on critical components such as the fan. Once an air conditioning unit or essential elements become corroded and rusted, they must be replaced, causing expensive repairs or high dollar replacements of the entire unit.
For yard equipment such as snow throwers or lawnmowers, the briny mix from rock salt can be equally problematic. These machines can also be subjected to salt exposure and corrosion, both on their exterior surfaces and even to their internal engines. Salt buildup or corrosion caused by salt can cause the engine or its components to break down prematurely, causing expensive repairs or necessitating complete replacement with new equipment.
How Can You Protect Valuable Equipment and Furniture From the Effects of Salt?
Taking steps to care for equipment and furniture that cost a great deal of money to purchase is a wise investment of your time and resources. Protecting your machine, air conditioner, and patio furniture from the corrosive effects that rock salt causes should be part of your overall winter preparation and winter survival plan.
There are several simple steps you can take to protect valuable equipment and furniture. If possible, items should be stored away under shelter and out of the elements during the winter months, such as in a garage or a shed. Items that are regularly exposed to the brine produced by rock salt should be rinsed with clean water before storing them away, such as snow blowers and throwers and snow shovels.
However, even the best maintenance and storage plan isn’t practical for every item that could be negatively impacted by rock salt. For example, an air conditioning unit cannot be removed from your home’s exterior for the winter and packed safely away in a garage. Patio furniture may be large and bulky and may be challenging to store in a shed or garage. You may lack the storage space to hold any equipment indoors at all and may need to find another means of protecting it from the elements and from salt corrosion while it is outside during the winter.
In all of these cases, purchasing products to protect valuable equipment and patio furniture may be the best or even only solution. Hybrid Covers is an innovative company that specializes in designing and producing the high-quality air conditioner cover, snow thrower cover, and patio furniture covers you need to protect your investment in these high dollar items. Hybrid Covers crafts each air conditioner cover, snow thrower cover, furniture cover, and outdoor protective cover from a sturdy waterproof polyester fabric that repels water and protects your items from exposure to the briny mixture produced by rock salt and melting snow.
Hybrid Covers specially manufactures their covers for air conditioners to create maximum protection during the winter months.These covers fit most major manufacturer air conditioner units and include velcro flaps to create a custom fit around adjoining pipes and lines. The drawstring closure at the bottom allows you to tighten the fit to reduce the risk of salt buildup as well as keep out other unwanted exposures.
Hybrid Covers also manufactures covers for snow throwers that feature a drawstring closure for maximum protection. The waterproof polyester fabric is durable and tear resistant. These covers also protect your items from the damaging and fading effects of UV rays from the sun.
You can’t stop winter, and you can’t prevent the dangers presented by using rock salt near your valuable equipment. But you can protect that equipment with a Hybrid Cover. Visit our website (hybridcovers.com) to learn more about how our covers can protect your outdoor gear.