Why Salt and Deicers are Bad for Your Concrete
Winter naturally takes a toll on concrete. Temperature fluctuations cause it to shrink and expand, which can lead to increased wear and cracking. Meanwhile, the ice and snow can turn concrete into a dangerous surface to walk across. To combat this, many people utilize salt and other deicing compounds to clear the ice. These compounds work by lowering the freezing point of the frozen water, turning it back into liquid despite the frigid temperatures.
Though certainly effective at melting ice, there’s a problem. This melted ice seeps into the porous surface of your concrete. This causes the deicing compounds to separate from the water, returning its freezing temperature back to normal. The water then refreezes inside the concrete, which can cause it crack and break.
Deicers also have a tendency to be carried into homes, offices, and more by foot traffic. The chemicals they contain are often corrosive by nature, resulting in additional damage to interior concrete floors, carpet, floorboards, and more. Though convenient, salt and deicers should ultimately be used as little as possible. Thankfully, there are other things you can do to get rid of ice.
Alternatives to Deicers
Some brands of deicers advertise themselves as being concrete friendly. While they might be less damaging, they can still cause harm. If you’re concerned about your concrete, it’s best to avoid salts and deicers as much as possible.
Instead, you should be proactive with snow and ice removal. This starts by shoveling as soon as you’re able to. Once the weather starts warming, and snow starts melting, try to scoop as much snow, slush, and water off your sidewalks and driveways. Even with proactive shoveling, some ice may form. If you need a little extra traction on icy surfaces, try using sand instead of salt. Though it won’t melt the ice, it will provide much needed traction on its surface.
If you still plan to use salt, but you want to protect your concrete, you can also coat or seal your concrete surfaces. Though it won’t make them completely impervious to the corrosive properties of salt, it can help reduce both absorption and abrasion. If you’re concrete has already been damaged by dicer or winter weather, you may still be able to repair it. Alternatively, concrete resurfacing is a great way to restore a like-new finish to your concrete without having to completely tear it up.
When it comes to protecting and restoring your concrete, it’s always best to use a professional. That way, you can ensure that the job has been done correctly, and you’ll be left with a finish that lasts. For concrete finishing, concrete repair, and concrete resurfacing in Ohio, contact Select Flooring Systems today!