Protecting your concrete from Michigan's Snow

Happy Holidays from everyone at Martino Home Improvements

After an unusually warm Thanksgiving, it may seem strange to talk about snow. But anyone who’s lived in Oakland County Michigan knows that it can hit anytime. If you’ve lived here your whole life, you probably know how to handle snow and snow removal. However, you may not know that you are damaging the concrete around your home with de-icers and salt. Find out how and how to prevent it below.

How De-Icers and Salt Ruin Concrete

Concrete de-icer mixes with snow and ice to form a liquid brine that lowers water’s freezing point. This is how it makes the snow magically melt. Unfortunately, as the snow and ice melts, some of it seeps into the concrete. If the temperature outside drops, this moisture can refreeze and expand. This will create pressure on your concrete’s surface and cause it to chip and spall.

How to Prevent Concrete Damage

1. Use salt and de-icers sparingly.

Only apply just enough to your sidewalk and driveway to loosen ice and snow. Then remove it with a shovel or plow immediately. This will not only protect your driveway, but it will also save you money as salt can get expensive.

2. Seal your driveway.

You can get do it yourself sealers at a hardware store or you can have your concrete driveway professionally sealed. Sealers seep into concrete’s openings and harden them into a glasslike seal. This seal will stop brine from getting into concrete and damaging it. There are seals out there that dry in 2-4 hours. If you opt to do it yourself, talk to an expert at the hardware store to find out which seal is best for your driveway and winter.

3. Shovel immediately.

While this isn’t always an option, as snow can hit while you’re out, it is one of the best options. The freezing and thawing of snow can also cause cracking in concrete. It you get to it right away, you can prevent this process from happening and you won’t have to use de-icers. If after you finish your driveway is a bit slippery, you can use kitty litter or sand to create traction. Check back with us at Martino Home Improvements throughout the winter for more tips to keep your home warm and safe in the winter.

If you get through the winter, but the driveway didn’t… give Martino Home Improvements a call. We are an expert concrete contractor, and will give you a free estimate for your driveway or patio.