Updated: Jan 6
For many years, salt has been used to keep concrete in safe condition during the winter—but it turns out that salt is actually the real culprit behind damaged concrete. That’s right; salt is bad for concrete! In this post, we’ll look at why you should do your best to avoid salting your concrete and what options you have for keeping it in good condition instead.
Why Salt Is Bad for Concrete
Salt is bad for concrete because of its corrosive properties. When salt comes into contact with the particles that make up concrete, it breaks them down and causes corrosion to occur. This can result in cracks, crumbling or spalling, flaking, and other damage to the surface of your slab or walkway. If left untreated, this damage can become worse over time and lead to further deterioration.
What You Should Use Instead:
Rather than salting your concrete, there are several alternative solutions that can help keep it in good condition. One option is to use a sealant on the surface of your slab or walkway. Sealants create an impermeable barrier between the elements and your concrete so that water, ice, and other substances cannot penetrate and cause damage. Sealants also help protect against staining from dirt and debris as well as mold growth due to moisture buildup.
Another option once the snow or ice has already occurred, is to use a deicer such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride instead of salt on icy surfaces. These deicers work by melting the ice so that it can be easily removed without causing any damage to the underlying surface. They are generally considered safer for use around plants and pets than sodium chloride (table salt) but should still be used sparingly if possible.
Salt may seem like a quick fix for icy surfaces but it's actually one of the worst things you can do for your concrete! Instead of salting your driveway or walkway when ice forms during winter months, opt for a deicer like calcium chloride or magnesium chloride instead to keep your property safe from harm while maintaining its integrity. Contractors everywhere agree that these alternative solutions will give you better results in the long run while avoiding costly repairs down the road—so don't be fooled by old wives' tales about using salt on slippery surfaces!