Keeping roads and sidewalks safe is a key concern for State Highway Agency and property owners all around, especially during the cold winter months when snow and ice can accumulate in high traffic areas. To accomplish this there are many deicing/anti-icing chemicals that can be used. And when it comes to fighting snow and ice, there is one question that many people will ask: “Does salt damage concrete?”
Effects of Various Deicing/Anti-Icing Chemicals
A study sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and National Department of Transportation in 2007 revealed the effects of various deicing/anti-icing chemicals to Portland Cement Concrete. In the test there were four key deicing brines that were evaluated, but in this post we will discuss only sodium chloride (NaCl) known as salt or rock salt, commonly used as a deicing/anti-icing agent.
Effects of Salt (NaCl) on Concrete Pavement
As a variety of tests that were performed to see if salt (NaCl) effects concrete, the data revealed no visible distress detected when specimens were exposed to the concrete with the concentrate salt solutions. The exposure resulted in little to no chemical interaction with the concrete. Concluding that the salt brine is not harmful to Portland Cement Concrete and is safe for use as a deicing or anti-icing agent with concrete.
To review the complete finding of the final report, click here.
Concrete-Safe Deicing Products
When it comes to deicing or ice prevention products, you want to make sure that the products will get the job done and not damage your concrete.
How it works. Snow on your rooftops melts and flows into the gutter system. At the end of the downspout, water drains into an attached Slick Shield unit filled with rock salt (NaCl). As water moves back and forth through the rock salt (NaCl) filled baffles, it will create a brine with a freezing point of approximately 5º F. The brine streams onto pavement preventing from ice to form when temperatures drops.