Salting new concrete in the winter

Is it safe to de-ice concrete surfaces using rock salt?

The simple answer to this questions is, yes. But, there are precautions that must be followed to ensure that the salt will not cause damage to the surface of the concrete. These precautions include:

  • Exterior concrete should contain air-entrainment. This is a chemical admixture added to the concrete during production to improve freeze-thaw durability.
  • Concrete should properly cure before de-icers are used. Therefore, it is recommended that de-icers NOT be used during the first winter of new concrete. Use sand for traction in place of melting the ice. Do not use fertilizers as a salt-alternative.
  • Seal concrete annually to keep the surface protected
  • Do not use de-icers on porous or improperly cured concrete, precast concrete items, masonry, mortar, wood or other porous materials. Use only on properly placed, cured and sealed, air-entrained concrete.

Concrete is a porous material which means it absorbs water. When brine created by melting snow and ice seep into concrete, this "saltwater" increases the amount of freeze/thaw cycles the concrete goes through. Eventually, this weakens the concrete and can cause the concrete to fail. This can happen when the refreezing of the brine causes pores to enlarge and even pop, pit, or spall.

 

Proper production, placement, and protection of concrete will ensure that de-icers can be applied safely and effectively after the first year.

 

If you need concrete sealer, or have any other questions related to salting new concrete, please contact us.

Terminal Ready-Mix

524 Colorado Avenue

Lorain, Ohio 44052-2198

Phone (440) 288-1717

Fax (440) 288-3142