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Chemistry from Dow Helps Prevent Winter Slips and Falls


Midland, MI - In cold climates, slips and falls due to frozen surfaces can cause a variety of injuries. A growing number of building owners are investing in an alternative approach to sidewalk snow removal - hydronic radiant heat snowmelt systems - a convenient, cost-effective solution for keeping sidewalks clear and safe.

The Dow Performance Fluids Business of The Dow Chemical Company supplies inhibited glycol solutions (like DOWTHERM™ and DOWFROST™) for “built in” snow-melting systems in sidewalks, parking lots and other heavily traveled pedestrian walkways and promenades. Built right into the pavement, these hydronic snow-melting systems along with chemistry from Dow, deliver the heat needed to keep these and other thoroughfares clear of frozen hazards.

How Hydronic Snow Melting Works

Hydronic snowmelt systems consist of a heating unit, pumps, manifolds that control the flow to and from the “melting zone” and a closed loop of pipes, generally made of plastic installed underneath paved surfaces. A steady stream of heated inhibited glycol passes through the pipes and supplies heat to the snow covered surface. The warm surface causes the snow to melt and the cold fluid then is reheated and re-circulated. Some systems are equipped with sensing equipment and come on automatically when frozen precipitation is present, while others are operated manually. Once activated, snow and ice will melt as heat radiates up through the pavement, keeping them passable and pedestrian friendly.

For commercial applications in critical areas like hospitals, senior citizen housing, stairways and handicap access ramps, these systems are invaluable as the radiant heat helps prevent injuries and maybe even saves lives by keeping those areas clear from snow and ice. Fewer liability claims is another advantage as some insurance companies also recognize the value and will reward building owners with reduced insurance premiums. The need to physically remove snow or ice via shovels or plows is eliminated and there is no need to apply salt or gravel.

Peace of Mind

Hydronic snow-melting systems with Dow Performance Fluids are a convenient way to minimize the hazards posed by slippery sidewalks or other surfaces. With the right heat transfer fluid, they can provide years of reliable performance and peace of mind to building owners weary of battling winter ice and snow.

About Dow

With annual sales of $58 billion and 46,000 employees worldwide, Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in around 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.


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