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Does salt damage your driveway?

4 min read

Asked by: Marcy Hammond

The answer is yes, salt does indirectly damage your concrete driveways, patios and sidewalks. Bumps and potholes don’t just appear due to regular wear and tear – salt damages concrete over time by causing corrosion to occur under the surface, leading to discolored, cracked and crumbling concrete.

Should I put salt on my driveway?

Ideally, you’ll sprinkle salt on your driveway before a heavy snowfall. When you’ve missed your window of opportunity, however, it’s best to shovel the driveway before applying salt—starting with a bare driveway will require less de-icer in the long run.

Is it OK to put salt on concrete?

When the acidic properties of the salt seep through the concrete, it can attack the bonds that hold the concrete together. This causes your concrete to deteriorate faster and cause cracks, voids, and trip hazards. In addition, salt can leave a residue and discolor the surface of your concrete.

How do I protect my driveway from salt?

The only way to stop this type of damage is with a water repellent sealer, such as a siliconate water repellent or a silane siloxane water repellent. Water repellent sealers such as these form a hydrophobic barrier that caused water and other liquids to bead off the surface.

What salt is safe for driveways?

Calcium chloride is the most commonly used driveway salt in the northern U.S., and it can continue to melt snow even in below-zero temperatures. It does react chemically with concrete so as to make it flake somewhat, but it is much less damaging than rock salt.

What is the safest ice melt for driveways?

Safest Ice Melt For Asphalt:
Rock salt and other harmful chloride salt cause masonry flaking, scaling, and pockmarks on the driveway or sidewalks. The safest option for your driveway and walkway is a natural salt-free ice melt.

How often should you salt your driveway?

Salt should only be used after the snow is removed and only in areas needed for safety. Distribute salt evenly, not in clumps. Clumped salt is wasted salt. Untreated salt stops working if the temperature is below 15 degrees.

Does salt hurt gravel driveways?

But you’ve got this handled because you’ve got salt in your car! Wait just a moment – what you may not know is that there’s a BIG problem with using salt on a gravel road: it will cause severe damage to the road that is very expensive and time consuming to fix.

What is the safest ice melt for concrete?

The following are considered the safest of these products for concrete:

  • Calcium Chloride. This is a popular snow-melt product that’s considered one of the best options for concrete. …
  • Magnesium Chloride. …
  • Potassium Chloride. …
  • Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) …
  • Urea.

How do you protect concrete from salt?

How to Protect Concrete From Road Salt Damage

  1. Apply a Densifier Sealer. If you noticed that your concrete has already sustained salt damage or is slowly showing signs of deterioration, you should apply a sodium or lithium silicate densifier. …
  2. Apply a Protective Coating. …
  3. Apply a Water Repellent Sealer.

Should I salt my driveway before it snows?

Overall, pre-salting the road forms a separating layer so if snow falls, it doesn’t freeze onto the road surface and can be removed easily. Therefore, we would recommend salting driveways before snowing as it is always easier and more efficient than doing it after.

How do you melt ice without damaging concrete?

How to Melt Ice without Damaging Concrete

  1. Use safer deicing chemicals. …
  2. Apply an abrasive. …
  3. Install a heated driveway. …
  4. Lay down snow-melting mats. …
  5. Seal your concrete against moisture and salt intrusion. …
  6. What if my concrete already has salt damage?

What salt does not harm concrete?

Magnesium chloride is a great choice! While magnesium chloride is more expensive than sodium chloride and calcium chloride, it is less likely to damage your concrete or your lawn. This type of salt only works in temperatures down to 0° F, which is better than sodium chloride but not quite as good as calcium chloride.

Can salt damage concrete be repaired?

However, concrete can deteriorate if the salt is left in place for a long time. If you have exterior areas of concrete that have dimples or shallow cracks in them, the best solution is to apply concrete patch. The concrete repair will be structurally sound but may show a slight color difference.

Will vinegar melt ice on driveway?

This white vinegar, wood ash, and water ice melt method is not only extremely effective in getting rid of old ice and preventing new ice from forming, it’s also gentle on plants, sidewalks, and driveways.