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Potential Damage to Concrete

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by JFSV, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. JFSV

    JFSV Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    If you have questions about concrete damage from ice melting products or are getting questions about it...I hope this helps...

    A common misconception is that concrete damage occurs because the ice melting products chemically attack the surface. Chemically, sodium chloride is no more damaging to concrete than is calcium chloride. In fact, none of the commonly used ice melter materials have any chemical action against concrete.

    All concrete contains small micropores into which water will penetrate. Any damage that occurs is a physical interaction between expanding water as it freezes in the pores of the concrete. By minimizing the freeze/thaw cycle, de-icers with low melting temperatures also reduce the degree of spalling and surface crumbling that takes place with more frequent freeze/thaw cycles.

    Damage to concrete is also minimized by containing the proper air entrainment for the environment where it is used. These micropores in the concrete increase its strength, thus allowing the use of ice melters at colder temperatures. If you or your customers have questions about the concrete at a particular site, call a local reputable concrete manufacturer or the Portland Cement Association for details. Also, make sure your concrete has cured for a minimum of one year to increase resistance to spalling and damage.
  2. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 950

    funny thing every concrete supplier ive ever delt with has said just the opposite. i have replaced many approachs from salt damage. resurfaced garage floors were a car would drip off salty water onto the floor. the best thing you can do is make sure the area that will be affected by salt is properly sealed with a acetone based sealer.
  3. JFSV

    JFSV Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    I'm sorry you've had those problems, however, there have been lots of testing done on this topic-here is a link to one study that is sited in the article below.


    This should help in your defense and to show your clients how important your service is.

    Effects on Concrete
    The effects deicing chemicals have on concrete is a frequently misunderstood topic. None of the common deicers chemically attack concrete. But, by depressing the freezing point of water, all deicers can affect the number of freeze/thaw cycles concrete goes through. The expansion pressure from water causes concrete to spall.
    For example, if the temperature is hovering between 25oF and 35oF, water on a concrete surface will freeze when the temperature drops below 32oF, and it will thaw as the temperature rises. This cycle exposes the concrete to one freeze/thaw cycle.
    On the other hand, if the temperature varies between 15oF and 25oF, water will remain frozen, while a salt brine with a freezing point of 20oF will go through a freeze/thaw cycle each time the temperature rises and falls. Each deicing chemical affects the freeze/thaw cycle, and therefore the concrete.
    Independent laboratory tests, per ASTM C-672 Standard Test Method for Scaling Resistance of Concrete Surfaces Exposed to Deicing Chemical, indicate that calcium chloride brine poses the least threat of damage to concrete of the deicers tested. Deicers Upon Concrete
    In additional, research conducted by the Portland Cement Association indicate that quality air entrained concrete, properly cured is much more resistant to freeze/thaw scaling than improperly cured or non-air-entrained concrete. Manufacture's usage recommendations should always be followed to prevent over applying deicer. Once the bond between ice and pavement is broken, the slush and residual deicer should be removed to prevent refreezing. Following this procedure, concrete scaling will be minimized.

  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,236

    Oh boy, here we go again. LMAO

    For the record, JFSV, I agree. Just had a similar discussion on this last year with several members throwing out misinformation if not outright lies.
  5. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    I think I remember this thread.... LOL
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,236

    I had just about forgotten it. :cry: :cry: