Whether it’s for a small parking lot or a major highway, sand and salt application is extremely common during the winter months. With sand and salt being used by State Highway Departments, small businesses and everything in between, many laws and regulations have been put into place to prevent damage to the environment, particularly due to improperly stored salt.

Storing Salt
While salt makes an excellent deicer on public roads, walkways, driveways and more, storing salt in an improper manner can have a serious impact on the environmental health of the surrounding area. Salt dissolves rapidly when exposed to water, which means that leaving a salt pile exposed to rain, snow or any form of water can lead to damaging runoff that affects plants, animals and even people. To prevent excessive amounts of salt-saturated runoff the following precautions must be taken when storing salt:

  • Salt must be stored on an impermeable surface, such as concrete or asphalt.
  • Salt must be securely covered year-round.
  • Any and all areas that are used for receiving or loading salt must be kept clear of any salt residue.
  • Storage buildings and pavement must be kept in good repair to prevent precipitation or runoff from coming into direct contact with stored salt.
  • Salt storage facilities must be located a designated distance from water wells, storm drains, shorelines, rivers, wetlands and more. Distances vary based on location, so check online or with local town officials for exact requirements.

Traditional Storage Facilities vs. ClearSpan Fabric Structures
Since there are no particular construction specifications for a salt storage building, salt can be properly stored in a number of ways. Provided that there is an impermeable surface and a reliable, year-round cover, salt can be stored in almost anything. Some of the more popular manners for storing salt are wood-frame buildings, metal buildings, silo buildings or a well-secured tarp for smaller applications. Each of these are perfectly acceptable manners for storing salt, but with a ClearSpan Fabric Structure, your salt storage facility can be customized to meet all the proper salt storage requirements, while also decreasing waste, reducing time spent loading salt trucks and simplifying overall building maintenance requirements.

Salt is a corrosive material, so storing within a wood or metal building can eventually lead to rot or rust; which can create cracks in the siding or roof. Any cracks or holes that do appear must be fixed immediately, since a building with any area that allows water to come into direct contact with stored salt is classified as an improper storage facility. With traditional wood and metal buildings there is also a limit on the amount of usable storage space. Storing salt requires a considerable amount of space, and when you factor in that any salt storage structure requires a high roof clearance for the safe loading and unloading of salt, and that just one ton of salt requires approximately 25 cubic feet of storage space, finding the ideal wood or metal structure can be complex and ultimately expensive.

With the triple-galvanized steel frame of a ClearSpan Fabric Structure, there is no need to worry about the corrosive nature of the salt, and each structure features the maximum amount of storage space possible. With an arched frame made of strong, round steel tubing, not a single support post is required throughout the entire structure, so every inch of space can be used for storage. Featuring a rip-stop polyethylene cover that prevents small rips from growing any larger, customizable options including widths up to 300 feet and lengths of any size, great visibility from the natural lighting - thanks to the permeable properties of the fabric cover - and the ability to easily relocate the structure if needed, there are many reasons why ClearSpan is the clear choice for salt storage.

“We are very happy with the quality of the building provides us. If we ever need to reposition the building, the user friendly design and foundation requirements give us that option.” – Bruce Williams, Dept. of Public Works, Avon, Conn.

ClearSpan’s American-made, triple-galvanized steel frames are unaffected by the corrosive nature of salt, and the fabric cover eliminates any anxiety of rot or rust. These structures can be installed on a pony wall or directly into the ground, both of which eliminate the need to install costly concrete foundations.  In a pony-wall style, the structure is mounted directly onto concrete blocks, which provide additional height and also reduce the risk of tearing the bottom fabric when working with front loaders or other large bucket vehicles. ClearSpan buildings include stamped engineered drawings for all necessary structures, and each building is designed to meet local wind and snow loads. ClearSpan Fabric Structures not only come at a low cost per square foot, but the long-term advantages of these buildings save money down the road.

“The elbow room inside the building is excellent. We own a Case 621 Loader, and it has no problem turning around inside the structure.” – Thomas Wilson, Dept. of Public Works, beech Grove, Ind.

Whether you have a structure that needs replacing or you’re looking for your first salt storage facility, ClearSpan Fabric Structures can design the ideal building for your needs. For more information, contact a Truss Arch Specialist at 1.866.643.1010 today.

ClearSpan Fabric Structures provides design-build solutions for material, equipment and other storage needs. ClearSpan buildings feature abundant natural light and spacious interiors without internal support posts. With minimal foundation requirements, the structures can be permanent or temporary and are easy to relocate. Made in the USA, they can be built to any length and up to 300' wide. ClearSpan’s corporate offices are located in South Windsor, Conn., and supports a manufacturing and distribution center in Dyersville, Iowa. For more information, please call 1.866.643.1010 or visit www.ClearSpan.com.