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Product Recomendations for Concrete Sidewalks?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by JohnRoscoe, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I'm new here, but have been reading the threads for a few weeks. Finally broke down and signed up so I could just ask what I'm looking for.

    We own and operate several properties on our own, multifamily, commercial, etc. We don't hire anything out, from painting to mowing to snow removal, and we don't hire out our services to others. 100% self-perform.

    Recently, we've been having more and more problems with concrete sidewalks scaling and flaking after hand-salting. We're not doing anything different than we have for decades, but 2 seasons ago we damaged about 500 LF of walk. We'd been using a variety of products labeled as sidewalk salt and paying $4-6 bag for pallet prices.

    Last season we went to straight Peladow in an effort to stop any new damage. We had less new damage, but still probably lost another 150 LF of walk.

    Obviously just about anything is cheaper than replacing walks, so price isn't the primary concern. We've also got to get walks 100% clean though, as we have some elderly and can't afford a trip and fall.

    If you were to pick a product solely based on its effects on concrete what would you use?
     
  2. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Salt did not cause your problems.........................Whats causeing your problems is the Freeze/Thaw cycle......Now, Poorly Mixed, and Finished concrete will speed up the process of the concrete Failing......How Old are these sections of walk that are failing???...Do you have a section that is failing proceeded by a section thats in good shape???........
     
  3. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I should have specified- this was on concrete from 3-15 years old. Seemed to be worst in areas that got the most sun. I trust the mix and the finishing.
     
  4. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985



    Interesting.....Any of you Experts Explain this....Before you do..The Portland cement ass. published an article about Salt vs. Peladow...Which one was MORE aggressive towards concrete??????
     
  5. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985


    If you trust the mix and finishing.....Why do you trust the mix and Finish...Did you do it...Im sticking to the freeze/Thaw...
     
  6. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Remember boys and girls, salt doesn't eat concrete. Unless of course it's REALLY hungry.:laughing:
     
  7. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    So all that aside... any recommendations on the most concrete-friendly ice-melter?
     
  8. kpmsnow

    kpmsnow Senior Member
    from Elkhart
    Messages: 156

    Ice Ban. It works great.
     
  9. firelwn82

    firelwn82 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,861

    Sorry to say but any kind of salt you put on concrete is going to eat it up. Especially concrete that is new and has not cured properly before winter hit. I'm not a concrete expert in anyway but there are 3 guarantees to it.... It will never blow away, it will never be stolen and it's going to crack..... The thing with concrete the older it is the harder it gets. Concrete is always curing from the second it's made just keeps getting harder and harder until it crumbles. The salt is adding to your cracking and crumbling but not totally to blame. It's just time to face the facts and start budgeting to replace your walkways.. 15 years is a long time to get out of any concrete that is weather in the elements 365 a year....
     
  10. kpmsnow

    kpmsnow Senior Member
    from Elkhart
    Messages: 156

    We have customers that buy Ice Ban from us that they use exclusively on "fresh" concrete, and they haven't ever had a problem. I agree concrete is probably going to crack eventually but doing what we can to prolong the enivediable is the name of the game. The question was what do we recommend and I recommend ICE BAN
     
  11. firelwn82

    firelwn82 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,861

    Here in Michigan I have personally never heard of ice ban but yes I agree were trying to prolong the inevitable to the customer.
     
  12. kpmsnow

    kpmsnow Senior Member
    from Elkhart
    Messages: 156

    I know AJP has a distributor in michigan now. Where in michigan are you located?
     
  13. firelwn82

    firelwn82 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,861

    48348. Pine Knob or also known as DTE Energy now
     
  14. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Some of your points are ok......A normal mix...Lets say a 4000psi...Will hit its strength within 90 days.....If the concrete is Properly Mixed and Finished it will last a Long time....There are a couple of reasons you see the top of Concrete Spall or peel off...If the Mix is Low on air..it will spall...If the Slab is over Finished..What i mean by this...When you see a guy finishing and he is spraying water all over the top to make it trowl easyer..That will speed along the Top Poping...


    Salt is Not the main culprit of Concrete failing...Man and Mother nature are...Poor Mix and or Finish and Freeze/Thaw....

    If you want to protect a Fresh Slab..You should use some sort of Cure and seal sealer when the walk and or Driveway are done...Alot of contractors skip this.....When they are paving a road you will see them spray a white looking stuff at the end of the paving....Thats cure and seal....

    To many crummy redi-mix companys taking short cuts and too many Hacks out there doing concrete giving the good ones a Bad Name...Kinda Like the Snow Plowing Business.....
     
  15. firelwn82

    firelwn82 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,861

    Thanks for the wise answers Matson. Good game...... :laughing: Seriously though thanks for the concrete education.
     
  16. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,172

    Although I agree with most of Matson's points, I think it may be a little late to fix the concrete walks. If older, cured concrete walks can't handle moderate doses of CC or rock salt, I'd suggest protecting them to control the losses.

    John, I wouldn't suggest this recommendation to most, but it seems that your crew has total control of the maintenance of the grounds, so here's my suggestion. Simply seal the walks with a solvent-based siloxane sealer in the next few weeks to create a surface that isn't nearly as porous and absorbant. The surface just needs to be fairly clean. The siloxane is very thin in nature, so as to penetrate deep, and can be sprayed very easily. The cost is high for a concrete sealer, but it's service life, as well as the level it protects at, is well worth every penny. For the cost of replacing maybe 20-30' of walk, you could easily protect a few thousand feet.

    The other "bonus" to this is that snow clears off of the surface far easier, as it doesn't freeze down like over tyical, un-sealed concrete. This should equate to faster, cleaner snow removal as well as far less de-icer's needed.

    When you get your raise or bonus for suggesting such a great remedy to the situation, let me know. I'll PM you my address so you can send the gifts............. :laughing: ;)
     
  17. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    jomama- We're on the same page. In fact, we applied about $1500 of a high-quality Euclid sealer this summer as a test. Unfortunately, we only covered about 1/4 of the site. If it helps significantly, we might bite the bullet and do the other 3/4 of the site next year. My understanding though is that the real benefit comes from re-applying annually, so it's an expensive proposition.

    (I'm along way from raise/bonus, more concerned about the other side- what happens if I can't figure out how to keep from destroying the concrete walks...)
     
  18. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,172

    Euclid is a fine brand, but I'd be curious what the name of the actual product was. If was indeed solvent-based siloxane, I wouldn't be too concerned about it. If it's an older style solvent or water-based topical sealer, I don't think you'll see ideal results.
     
  19. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Not sure about the siloxane, but it was their Super Diamond Clear AC, which I understand to be one of their best products.
     
  20. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985


    Super Diamond Clear is a Fine Brand....But you are paying for a Name...Take Jomama's advice..He SEEMS to know what hes talking about...:laughing: and i agree with Most of his points.....All kidding aside take his advice......:drinkup: