How To Protect Concrete From Rock Salt Damages? 

Rock salt tops the list as the most common de-icing chemical used in the US. In fact, road salt use reports show that at least 10 million tons of rock salt are spread per year.

You’ve probably heard of the freeze-thaw cycle – a major cause of damage to concrete and other construction materials. And by dumping rock salt on driveways and roads during winter, the freeze-thaw effects of concrete are propagated, making concrete prone to cracks.

How the Damage Occurs

The de-icing procedure uses various ice melts, including chlorides, sulfates, and silicates of sodium, potassium, calcium, or magnesium. But generally, rock salts are the preferred choice for many due to their high efficacy, affordability, and availability.

Again, rock salt aggravates the freeze-thaw cycle, with the damage occurring when hydrated compounds are absorbed before further penetrating, freezing, and expanding porous materials like concrete. Temperature variations play a massive role in bringing about such effects.

In other words, it’s the hygroscopic nature of salt that causes concrete deterioration. A hygroscopic compound has excellent water adsorption and absorption abilities, meaning it can draw water from the atmosphere and surroundings. That translates to water accumulation, which leads to concrete spalling as there is barely room for thermal expansion and contraction.

Carbonation also facilitates concrete deterioration. It’s the chemical reaction between salt and air that occurs when the air in carbon dioxide penetrates porous concrete. Additionally, rock salt is also mildly acidic, and the carbonation can somehow corrode concrete reinforcement.

Rock Salt Alternatives 

To protect concrete from rock salt damage, here are alternative de-icing approaches you can consider:

1. Alternative deicers

Consider relatively less harsh ice melts such as calcium chloride, which is less susceptible to freeze-thaw cycles. Other safe de-icing products include salt-free deicers, calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), vinegar, coffee grounds, and wood ash.

2. Heated mats

Also known as snow-melting mats, heated mats are portable, pocket-friendly, and less labor-intensive as they only require plugging in. However, they only cover smaller spaces compared to heated driveways.

3. Heated driveway systems

Heated driveways have more curb appeal and are less labor-intensive. The catch? They are relatively more expensive as their systems require more advanced installations. These systems are available in two distinct categories: electrical current and hydronic tubing systems.

Tips to Protect Concrete from Rock Salt Damage

Here are some options worth looking at when looking to prevent rock salt damage on concrete:

Concrete sealing

A water repellant sealer is ideal for preventing melted ice entry into porous concrete. It creates a hydrophobic barrier that effectively prevents freeze-thaw damages that often result in concrete chipping, cracking, and spalling.

Further, densifier sealers such as sodium or lithium silicate react with the concrete to form a hardcore structure that prevents moisture penetration and increases the concrete’s compressive strength.

Concrete coatings

Protective concrete coatings such as acrylic sealants act as shock absorbers, preventing concrete deterioration. In other terms, they help absorb most, if not all, of the exterior abrasions brought about by rock salt.

Drainage systems

Proper drainage systems can also aid in averting rock salt damage. Correct installation of these systems does away with stagnant melted water that invites concrete deterioration.

Hiring professionals 

Concrete flooring and coating require professional installation, especially if you’re looking to maximize their durability. We strongly advise against DIY concrete flooring installations as several vital factors such as preparation time, application, and clear coating, are often overlooked.

Therefore, you might want to consider hiring concrete flooring professionals. You’ll get to save yourself a lot of money, which could have otherwise gone to expensive repairs accompanying poor work quality. After all, experts know the appropriate cement content, water to cement ratio to use, and so forth.

Best Concrete Coatings in the Northern Wisconsin Tri-State Area

At Armor Coating, we boast professionals who have the expertise in establishing concrete coating flooring systems. In addition, we employ specially developed products and can handle it all – warehouses, garages, car parks, plane hangars, and so on.

Our experts are ready and available round the clock to serve you. Contact us to get a free quote.

How Much Do Your Concrete Floor Coatings Cost?

Each project is customized to your particular concrete flooring needs. Every job we do is different, because we offer different types of coatings and finishes.  We will work with you to develop a free estimate keeping your budget in mind. 

How Long Will The Concrete Coating Last?

We use the highest quality materials in our polyaspartic floor coatings and we’ve perfected our application process to make the concrete coating permanent.  Once completely cured and adhered, the concrete coating is meant to last as long as the substrate it’s adhered to.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Over Epoxy Floor Coatings?

Polyaspartic Floor Coatings dry more quickly than Epoxy Floor Coatings, and the finish is also more durable.  Our floor concrete coating finishes are also more slip-resistant and will not discolor like some Epoxy Floor Coatings.

How Long Do I Need To Stay Off My Concrete Floor Coating After It Is Installed?

Our flooring cures within a few hours, however our team of professionals recommends waiting at least 4-6 hours before walking on your brand new concrete coated flooring. After 12 hours, you can begin moving lightweight objects onto the flooring, like light patio furniture.  We recommend waiting a full 24 hours before moving anything heavy back into the area where we’ve applied the coating (your car, heavy equipment or furniture etc.).

Will My New Concrete Floor Coating Turn Yellow?

It sure won’t! Our concrete floor coverings will not yellow or discolor, because they are UV stable. This  one of the many benefits of using Polyurea or Polyaspartic floor coatings.

Will I Need To Reseal My Concrete Floor Coating?

If you follow our maintenance and cleaning guidelines, you should not have to worry about resealing the concrete floor coating. We offer a professional grade cleaner that will easily remove stains or tire marks, but will also preserve the life of your concrete coating topcoat.

How Long Does It Take You To Apply Concrete Floor Coatings?

We’ve perfected our 6-step application process, so most typical projects take between 5-10 hours depending on the square footage.  We pride ourselves in a one-day application, and will do everything possible to stay within that time frame.  Rainy weather can delay the project, but it is rare.

How Do I Care For My Concrete Floor Coating?

You can clean our concrete coatings with typical sweeping, mopping or steaming, and hoses.  We offer maintenance services should your concrete flooring ever need cleaning, however you can also use non-abrasive cleaners, like CLR, to remove grease or other stains. 

Will Oil Stain My Concrete Floor Coating?

Armor coatings are oil resistant as well as moisture resistant.

Who Invented Polyaspartic Coatings?

Bayer Material Science first developed Polyaspartic coatings in the 1990’s to protect steel bridges and infrastructure from rusting and corrosion. It has since been modified for different applications, once being durable concrete flooring coatings.

What Are Polyaspartic Concrete Coatings?

Polyaspartic Concrete coating is another name for Aliphatic Polyurea, which is a hybrid material consisting of ester and other materials. It was originally developed to coat metal bridges.  It was later used to coat concrete flooring due to its durability and moisture resistance. Polyurea is also used to coat truck bed liners.

Can Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Be Used Outside?

They sure can!  We offer wonderful solutions for driveways, patios, and even the area around the pool.  Our coatings are all UV stable, which will help prevent discoloration or flaking.

What Types Of Environments Can Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Be Used?

Polyaspartic flooring coatings can be used in a variety of environments.  The durability, slip resistant finish is fantastic for any industrial setting, storefronts, patios, or even driveways or garages.

How Are Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Applied?

We have perfected a six step process for applying Polyaspartic Floor Coatings that involves prepping the floor, basecoating, applying chips, scraping the chips, and applying the clear UV protective clear coat. 

Can I Apply Polyaspartic Floor Coatings In Cold Temperatures?

You can!  Polyaspartic floor coatings are safe to apply in temperatures as cold as -40 degrees.

How Long Do Polyaspartic Floor Coatings Take To Dry?

Our Polyaspartic Floor Coatings are engineered to rapidly cure, and can be dry in a matter of a few hours!  However, we recommend waiting at least 5-6 hours before walking on newly applied coating and 24 hours before moving heavy objects back onto the flooring.

Do I Need To Hire A Professional To Install Polyaspartic Floor Coating?

Installing Polyaspartic Floor Coating correctly is critical to the appearance and durability of your flooring.  Hiring a professional is the best way to ensure that your flooring will look amazing and last a lifetime! Our team at Armor Coatings is certified in Polyaspartic Floor Coating installation and have many years of experience.

Is It Possible To Cover Existing Epoxy Floor Coating With Polyaspartic Floor Coating?

It is!  Polyaspartic floor coatings are specially formulated for their incredible adhesion properties.  If you have existing patches of epoxy coating, our team can sand it down, vacuum, and wipe down the area with a solvent.  Once prepped, we will apply your new, superior, Polyaspartic Floor Coating