Updated December 2, 2020
We’ve all seen it – on a beautiful spring day… you’re strolling along the sidewalk admiring the charming homes and driveways and then suddenly, we see it…
Did you know that using salt can cause unsightly holes and cracks! There are better ways to melt accumulated ice and snow on your driveways and sidewalks. We have some tips on how to care for your concrete.
What are driveway “pits”?
Driveway pitting is generally caused by de-icing products or road salts on concrete surfaces. Ironically, not only does the salt melt the ice, but during the freeze/thaw cycles, the resulting ‘salt water’ seeps into the concrete and expands, causing areas of the concrete to crumble. The remaining holes are referred to as ‘pits.’
Remember, all of the salt and de-icing compounds that are frozen onto your car will melt once you pull your car into the driveway and garage. Ensure you are clearing all debris and water from your garage regularly or it will begin to destroy the concrete surfaces.
How can this be prevented?
The best way to ensure your concrete surfaces do not get damaged in the winter months is to shovel frequently (preferably with a plastic shovel) and keep your concrete surfaces clear of all ice, snow or snow melt.
If your concrete surfaces already have a build-up of ice, the best thing to do is create traction and promote melting, as using an ice scraper can cause damage to the concrete.
Instead of harsh de-icing products, you can use natural products such as:
- Kitty litter
- Sand, or;
- Stall dry
- Coarse gravel
- Dark sand (this absorbs heat from the sun and helps melt the ice)
What is the best way to maintain concrete?
- Clean your concrete surfaces a minimum of once per year to remove dirt, grime and stains
- Cracks in concrete surfaces should be sealed to minimize water intrusion
- Seal your driveway/walkway/garage floors with a penetrating sealer at least every two years. Ensure when sealing the driveway that all manufacturers guidelines are adhered to depending on weather conditions
- DO NOT use salt or de-icing compounds on your concrete surfaces, new or older! Best is to use clean dark sand or any of the suggestions above.
- Ensure you are clearing all debris and water from your garage regularly or it will begin to destroy the concrete surfaces
Be sure to keep your concrete surfaces clear, as dry as possible, and utilize natural solutions for ice build up. This should keep your driveway, garage pad and sidewalks looking great for years to come!
Should you have any questions or need advice, please feel free to contact us!