There is quite a bit of controversy on the point of using ice melt on your concrete. Many homeowners worry that the serious chemicals and corrosive compounds will damage their concrete over the course of the winter. Is melting the ice on the concrete all that worth it? In a word, yes. As long as you are taking careful steps to protect your concrete you should be safe to use ice melt to keep your family and visitors safe on your driveway.
How To Protect Your Concrete From Ice Melt & Salts
- Repair Damage: The very first thing you need to do before you use ice melts, and ideally before you get snow, is to assess your driveway, sidewalk, garage, and any other concrete on your property for damage. Ice melt lowers the freeze/melt cycle, meaning your concrete could be subject to more freezing and expanding precipitation. This can be harmful if you have cracks or crumbling in your concrete, so get it fixed right away. Hard Rock Concrete Coatings is the local expert on concrete repair, and we can fix any damaged concrete so you won’t have to worry about ice melt damage.
- Use Sparingly: Start with a small amount of ice melt, then work your way up. Ice melt in moderate quantities isn’t damaging, but it can be if dumped on your concrete without discretion. Use as little as possible and you might be surprised how effective even a small amount can be.
- Sweep: Salts are abrasive, so driving over large amounts of ice melt salts on your concrete surface can cause extra wear and tear. The corrosive chemicals can also have a more detrimental effect if left permanently on your concrete. Instead shovel or sweep the ice melt away after the melting has occurred.
- Avoid Grass & Plants: This isn’t so much for your concrete – we’re just looking out for your yard. Ice melt can be lethal for grass and other plants. Even though it’s winter, keep your ice melt clear of plants and grass to give it the best shot of returning in the spring.
- Rinse When Possible: Obviously rinsing concrete in winter could be risking an ice skating rink and the use of MORE ice melt, but use your best judgement. On a day when temperatures are sure to be above freezing, shovel, sweep, and rinse your concrete to prevent any abrasive or corrosive salts from getting too comfortable on your concrete.
You can use ice melts AND protect your concrete this winter with these careful steps. Stay safe out there!