Importance of Pavement Temperature.

One of the most important pieces of information you can have in battling snow and ice on roads, sidewalks and parking area’s, is pavement temperature. Air temp is usually measured at a height of 6 feet +/-. There is often quite a difference in the two. When using liquids, it is extremely important to know what the surface temperature is at the time of application of deicing/anti-icing chemicals. In a well-managed winter operation, knowing what is going on, on the pavement can help reduce cost by applying the right amount of material when it’s needed.

Remember, the effectiveness of any deicing chemical is based on four factors:

1) Surface temperature

2) Application Rate

3) Moisture, and

4) Beginning Concentration of the product.

How do you know what the surface temperature is? I have found that a RoadWatch* is the best way to know at a glance what current air and road temps are. You can find out mor about these units @

Here are a couple of photo’s of the sensor and the gauge you would see in your vehicle.

I do get quite a few question on why a product didn’t perform like it’s supposed to at 30 degree’s. One factor is that the pavement temperature could be as much as 10 degrees warmer based on traffic volumes, sun and the type of pavement, asphalt or concrete.  To help with these type issues and to have the current information you need. I recommend using a surface thermometer. It will pay for itself quickly.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns regard product performance or use. You can post questions or comments on this site.



About Dave Budd

Vice President of Product Development and Marketing, Great Lakes Chloride, Inc. Serving Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky. Retired Michigan DOT, October 2010 after 32 years experience in Maintenance/Operations. Specializing in winter operations and liquid de-icers and anti-icers.
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1 Response to Importance of Pavement Temperature.

  1. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it.

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