How Salt and Sand Can Lead to Concrete Issues
Whether it’s a cracking driveway, pitting concrete sidewalks, or a crumbling stoop, what you put on your concrete during the winter can have a major impact.
There are many factors that can play into the concrete around a home falling into disrepair. One primary reason is the soil under the concrete.
But, what you put on top of your concrete can make a difference as well. When water freezes and thaws over and over, it can cause the surface of your concrete driveway to crack, pit and crumble.
Think of your driveway as a giant sponge. Concrete is porous, so it soaks up water at the surface — maybe from rain or melting snow. When temperatures drop below freezing, water turns into ice, which expands and breaks the walls of those tiny pores, weakening the concrete. You probably won't notice this damage at first. Unfortunately, though, it worsens exponentially with every freeze/thaw cycle until the pitting and flaking become obvious to the naked eye.
Sprinkling salt to your driveway and sidewalks doesn't help either. Not only does it assist the freeze/ thaw cycle, but the salt itself accelerates the breakdown of concrete by causing corrosion under the surface, leading to cracked and crumbling concrete.
The key to protecting your driveway for the long term is to seal it from the elements. Sealing your driveway may seem like a no-brainer, but many homeowners forget this simple step only to regret it years later when it becomes necessary to replace or resurface their driveway.