How to Protect Concrete From Road Salt Damage
Updated: Feb 8
Winter is of the toughest seasons for concrete surfaces due to the damage that they can sustain. These include cracking, spalling, pitting and dusting that are the consequences of de-icing roads, sidewalks, patios and pool decks. As the years go on, concrete slowly deteriorates and worsens due to wear and tear.
So, how can you protect concrete from road salt damage?
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. The densifier sealer seeps into the concrete surface to form a permanent calcium silicate hydrate structure within the pores, which can solidify and harden the concrete. In turn, this makes your concrete surface more resistant to damage, such as road salt abrasion and de-icing salts.
Apply a Protective Coating
Coatings from sealers can protect your concrete from damage. An acrylic sealer leaves behind a durable protective film that will absorb the brunt of the abrasion and abuse caused by road salts. Granted, the road salts can wear down on your protective coating, but you can get around one to five years of life before needing to reapply it. In turn, this lets you maximize the lifespan of your concrete.
Apply a Water Repellent Sealer
While abrasion is the most common way for road salt to damage concrete, salt can also cause snow and ice to melt. Once the concrete absorbs the water, it freezes in the pores, which can lead to the concrete cracking and spalling from the inside. This can be prevented by applying a water repellent sealer. The sealer provides a hydrophobic barrier that prevents water from staying on the surface. Once the snow or ice melts, it will evaporate on the surface instead of freezing and seeping into the pores.
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