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Salt On New Concrete ???

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Sno4U, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Ok, so I've got this client. They added onto their building this past summer. They poured a new concrete pad in front of their new 3 docks. I DIDN'T apply salt in that portion of their lot most of the winter. So my contact (recently) complained (now that the season is almost over) that its always full of ice and the truckers/delivery people have complained frequently.
    My reply was Its new concrete and you shouldn't apply salt during the 1st year until the concrete is fully cured or it will "pop". He said that the installer sealed the concrete when he poured it. It should have been OK to apply salt.
    Who's right?
    I thought I was doing "the right thing" by using my experience and NOT applying salt that would damage their NEW concrete. I sure as heck don't want an Ins. claim in Spring(for screwed up concrete)! But yet I don't want an Ins. claim in Winter either!! (slip & fall)
    As far as I was aware the only time when you can apply salt to concrete less than a year old, is like last year when a client had a pad poured, the contractor added Linseed oil to the concrete.
    I'm kind of in a pickle(client thinks I gave crappy service) b/c I thought was doing right.
    What/how would you handle it.
    Contract/agreement has always been: salt as needed.
    Who's rite about the sealer/ or no salt issue?
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  2. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    communication is key. you should have voiced your concerns at beginning of season and let them make the decision. we usually use just grit on new concrete but sometimes the property doesn't care if it gets scaled vs ice free, and tell us to salt it. just make them aware of the options and consequences
  3. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    Just salt it and be done with it. It will be fine.
  4. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    If contract says salt, then salt it is.
    If you thought it would be an issue, it could have been brought to their attention at the beginning of the season. If they didn't want salt there, then that should have been put in writing and signed by them.
  5. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    apparently somebody whos never seen what happens to new concrete after salt has eaten holes in it. and sections r poping off. it is in no way cost effective to have salted it. i dont think there is anyway to seal it. the put in a new section of road a couple years ago and r city had to rig up a truck for crushd lime stone because of the new concrete. your the professional. if they thought the service was bad then u dont need them. u did them a favor because u saved them from re pouring the pad.
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    DEAR TIM: Ice and snow cause big problems where I live. My sidewalks, driveway and concrete and wood steps get slippery. Is it safe to use deicing salts on concrete, asphalt and wood surfaces? I have been told that deicing salts can cause severe damage to concrete. Are there safer salts that work differently than others? What about using fertilizer as a deicer and traction aid? Jenny L., Lewiston, ME

    DEAR JENNY: Deicing salts can cause severe damage to concrete that has not been formulated, mixed, installed and finished properly. That is a fact. The good news is that it is easy to install concrete so that deicing salts can be used with confidence knowing that little or no damage will occur over the years. If you come to my city, I can show you city sidewalks and roadways that have had repeated treatments of deicing salts for years. These strong concrete surfaces have experienced none of the spalling or surface erosion that you have heard about.

    There is a one-half inch thick layer of ice on my front sidewalk paving brick. I sprinkled some magnesium chloride pellets on it and they started to work within seconds. You can still see a few of them up at the surface.
    The damage to concrete most people fear is actually caused by the freezing and thawing of water that soaks into the upper surface of the concrete. The use of deicing salts increases the amount of freeze-thaw cycles that a concrete sidewalk or driveway experiences. The volume of water increases by 9 percent when it freezes. This expansion creates internal pressures that can blast apart weak concrete.

    Concrete that contains small air bubbles (air entrained), a minimum of 564 pounds of cement (6 bag mix) per cubic yard and a minimum amount of water when mixed (4 inch slump) can resist repeated episodes of ice expansion within the concrete. In addition, the concrete must be moist cured at or above 50 F for a minimum of seven days, produce a 28 day strength of 4,000 pounds per square inch and have a minimum drying time of 30 days before it is subjected to the first freeze-thaw cycle. These practices are commonly followed by experienced, professional concrete masons.

    Deicing salts rarely cause problems on wood surfaces and asphalt. What little damage they may cause is far outweighed by the benefits of preventing personal injury as a result of a fall on some ice.

    There are four primary deicing salts. All have different characteristics. The most common deicing salt is regular rock salt or sodium chloride. It is widely available and can melt snow and ice until the temperature drops to between 16 and 20 F. Below these temperatures the rock salt stops melting snow and ice. Rock salt also releases the highest amount of chloride ions when it dissolves. Chloride can pollute streams, rivers and lakes. The chloride also causes metal to corrode.

    Calcium chloride is another deicing salt. Many people have seen these small rounded white pellets. It can continue to melt snow and ice as temperatures fall well below 0 F. It can cause skin irritation if your hands are moist when using it. Concentrations of calcium chloride can chemically attack concrete.

    Potassium chloride is a deicing salt that available in some markets. It is not a skin irritant and does not harm vegetation. It only melts ice when the air temperature is above 15 F, but when combined with other chemicals it can melt ice at lower temperatures.

    The newest deicing salt is magnesium chloride. It continues to melt snow and ice until the temperature reaches -13 F. In the photo, the air temperature was 0 F. The magnesium chloride melted through a 1/2 inch thick layer of ice in just 10 minutes. This salt releases about 40 percent less chlorides into the environment than either rock salt or calcium chloride. It is also less damaging to concrete surfaces of questionable or unknown quality. Magnesium chloride is less toxic to plants, trees and shrubs (see Author's Note at the bottom of this column). It also does not leave a powder residue when tracked into your home.

    Avoid the use of fertilizers as deicing and traction agents. Those that contain ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate can rapidly disintegrate concrete. Don't take a chance if you don't know what is in the fertilizer. If you don't have salts available use sand to stop you from slipping and sliding.


    Author's Note: In 2001, the USDA published an article entitled "Magnesium Chloride as a De-Icing Agent" that stated magnesium chloride led to "corrosion of steel and aluminum poles and pole hardware." Although used as an effective deicer, updated evidence after the publishing of this article on AsktheBuilder.com shows it can lead to harm of electric utilities. The article can be read here.

    Also, a February 2003, Board of Montana Flathead County Commissioners minutes document called "Magnesium Chloride on Roads" on Corrosion-Doctors.org attests to magnesium chloride's corrosiveness on aluminum and steel. In a corrosion comparison done by Colorado D.O.T. and the University of Colorado, it was found that "road salt is more corrosive to the metals than mag chloride on a one time exposure." However, magnesium chloride corrodes over longer periods of time, and Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, said it corroded aluminum on his vehicles as well as led to wiring failure. This document can be read

  7. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    Yes I have and I still say the same advice. Salt it and dont worry about it. Nothing lasts forever.
  8. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    u prob should of asked in the beginngin of winter....thne u have it set in stone
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,237

    Who's Tim and Jenny? New PS members?

    Is askthebuilder anything like Bob the Builder?

    Last year's discussion was way more interesting.
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Well then spice it up a little...
  11. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,237

    Nope, I'm trying to 'just get along' and not have any discussion. Way more interesting (to some) if there is no disagreement. Apparently. :dizzy: