December 17, 2009 Written by Marty Strobel
When maintaining our sidewalks and steps during the wintertime it is extremely important to be aware of the potential damage we can do to our concrete surfaces. Most homeowners and business owners do not realize the damage that common rock salt does to our concrete surfaces.
When we spread rock salt on a concrete sidewalk, the rock salt melts the ice and snow creating a wet slush which eventually turns to a liquid. This salty liquid seeps down into the porous concrete, eventually refreezing. With the constant freezing and thawing that takes place, this causes the concrete surface to pit and spall.
The best de-icing 'recipe' to use on our concrete surfaces is to look for de-icing products that contain a mixture of sodium chloride, magnesium chloride and potassium chloride. This will be a little more gentle on your concrete surfaces. Contact your salt suppliers to see if they have any products that meet these ingredients. Your sidewalk will thank you.
It helps to some degree to seal your concrete surfaces, this will be covered in another blog post.