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The Effects of Rock Salt on Concrete

Protecting Your Sidewalk & Driveway in Winter

Winter can be harsh for many reasons. In addition to freezing temperatures and potential storms, the damaging effects can continue even after all the snow has melted. Learn about the effects rock salt has on concrete and how cleaning salted sidewalks and driveways can help you protect your property.

The Harsh Effects of Snow Removal

Blizzards can cause damage to more than power lines and plants. How you choose to remove the snow can also have negative effects. You may know the toll shoveling takes on your body, but what about your driveway? Using a metal bladed shovel can easily scratch concrete and pavers. This is why it’s recommended to use something plastic, rubber, or vinyl-edged to save the surface from scratches, exposure, and degradation.

Once the snow is gone, many homeowners also apply rock salt to quickly melt any remaining snow and prevent icy spots. This product can also damage concrete, brick, and surrounding landscapes. Some alternatives include sodium-free products, like a calcium chloride or magnesium chloride ice melt.

Even if you’ve done your part in properly shoveling your driveway and using the right products, salt from the road can drip off your car onto your driveway or garage floor. You can also track in rock salt from walking on treated surfaces. This could lead to deterioration, cracking, and pitting of the surfaces you worked hard to protect.

Protecting Surfaces in Winter

There are a few ways to help protect the concrete, brick, and slate surfaces around your home from the harmful effects of salt.

  1. Use products sparingly. Follow the recommended application rates to melt the ice without using excessive amounts.
  2. Consider options. Use alternative de-icing agents, such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride, which may have less damaging effects on surfaces.
  3. Clear snow from tires before entering garage. Knock off any gathered slush in the driveway and shovel it to the side.
  4. Wash your car. Take your vehicle through the car wash to have its undercarriage rinsed clean.
  5. Cleanup. Remove any excess salt from the sidewalk and driveway promptly after the winter season. Rinse off the entire surface to prevent prolonged exposure to concrete or asphalt surfaces.
  6. Apply sealcoating. Consider sealing your driveway and garage to provide an additional layer of protection.

Cleaning Salted Sidewalks

Once the winter weather is behind us, consider power washing well-salted surfaces for a deeper clean. JDog Carpet Cleaning & Floor Care provides soft washing services for many exterior areas. This technique is not only a safe, gentle way to clean, it also utilizes eco-friendly solutions. Some of these areas we cover include:

  • Sidewalks
  • Decks
  • Concrete
  • Stones
  • And more

While stone and concrete seem like durable areas, it can still be chipped under normal power washing pressure. Soft washing eliminates this risk while helping to clean the surface of impurities leftover from winter’s deicing attempts. Call 844-GET-JDOG for a free quote and to schedule a cleaning service to refresh and protect your exterior surfaces.