Is Salt Bad for Concrete? What are My Options?

As we finish up January, the weather starts to get confused. One day might be cold and snowy. The next will be warmer and potentially rainy. Snow will melt. Everything will get wet. And then the sun goes down, and it all freezes.

Ice is everywhere this time of year, which means slipping hazards are also everywhere.

If you’re trying to keep your home or business safe, you may turn to salt. It’s cheap, fast acting, and it does a great job of removing ice. When salt connects with water and ice, it lowers the freezing temperature, causing the ice to melt while preventing the water from refreezing.

But it Doesn’t Last Forever

And that’s where it becomes a problem.

Concrete is surprisingly porous. The salt can actually allow the water to seep into the concrete. Once the salt is dissolved and removed from the equation, that water can then refreeze in the concrete, causing damage and breakage.

So, while ice does a great job at getting rid of ice, it can also get rid of the surface of your concrete. Your concrete is especially susceptible if it was just laid before winter.

Better Alternatives to Salt

Probably the most popular alternative to salt is using sand. It’s also cheap, and it immediately makes conditions better. However, it doesn’t melt the ice. Instead, it covers it, providing you with some much-needed traction.

There are also a handful of products out there advertised as safe ice-melting products. They’re supposed to remove the ice without damaging your concrete or posing any danger to pets and the environment.

Of course, you can also get rid of your ice the old-fashioned way: scraping and chipping.

Sealers Can Help

If you’re set on using salt or you just want to keep your concrete protected, you can have your concrete sealed to add a layer of durability and protection. While sealant isn’t entirely foolproof, it can give your concrete some extra lasting power.

The only downside is you’ll have to wait till the spring before you can start the process. If you think you’ll need some concrete sealing or concrete crack repair in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities, or western Wisconsin, you can trust in the team at Artisan Concrete Pro.

Contact us now to get your options sorted out and make sure you’re ready when the snow melts. In the meantime, we do interior work as well. If you’re looking for concrete assistance, we’re here to help.