Road salt is great and useful in the winter; it helps melt ice and snow. According to the American Highway Users Alliance, it prevents accidents by up to 85%. But like everything else, road salt has its drawbacks: it can damage concrete and rust vehicle parts.
This post examines the dangers of road salt to your concrete driveways, patios, and sidewalks and how to control it.
Does Road Salt Damage Your Concrete?
The short answer is yes.
In the winter, road salt is used to thaw ice and snow on roads, driveways, and sidewalks.
Because concrete is naturally porous, it easily absorbs water from melted ice and snow, leading to corrosion beneath the concrete surface. This leads to discolored, cracked, and crumbling concrete.
If concrete is not sealed, it will suffer more from the effects of road salt, and the longer any concrete floor is left unsealed, the faster the road salt damage takes effect.
How Salt Damages Concrete
Contrary to popular belief, it is not the salt that damages the concrete but its effects. So how does this process occur?
When the calcium hydroxide in concrete reacts with the calcium chloride in the salt, calcium oxychloride (CAOXY) is formed— a substance that can severely damage concrete. As CAOXY forms in concrete, its crystals expand, which naturally causes the concrete to crack and crumble inside.
In addition, when road salt lowers the freezing point of water and increases the pressure of frozen water, it increases the effects of freeze-thaw cycles. Keep in mind also that melted ice contains about 10% more water than normal.
It follows: The more frequent the freeze-thaw cycle occurs in concrete due to road salt, the more pressure is exerted on the concrete.
In other words, the more ice melted by road salt and refrozen due to the weather, the more damage is done to the concrete floor.
How To Stop Salt Damage To Concrete
There are several ways to combat salt damage to your concrete. However, applying a good concrete coating to the floor is the most effective way.
A good concrete coating, like Webfoot's polyurea coating, chemically bonds to the concrete, sealing it and protecting it from the effects of road salt carried to the floor from your car or shoes.
Our expertly formulated polyurea coatings penetrate and seal the pores of your concrete, preventing moisture from accumulating inside. In addition, these coatings are easy to install regardless of the season and cure perfectly within 24 hours.
Combine the superior quality of our coatings with the precision of our installation specialists, and you get a concrete surface that is fully winterized.
Stop Salt Damage to Concrete with a Concrete Coating
Road salt damage is real, but it does not have to be a big deal for your home. Contact Webfoot and let our professionals coat your concrete floor with our tested and proven polyurea coatings. You can rest assured that your concrete driveways, patios, and walkways will stay safe all season long!
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