How to Deice Concrete

Just when you thought we were done, one more big snowstorm set it sights on Baltimore and dropped up to a foot of snow in some areas. If you’re attempting to deice exterior concrete walkways or patios to make them safe to walk on, it pays to know how to do it in a way that is safe for concrete. Learn the best way to deice concrete in this week’s blog.


Deicing Concrete

When the snow falls, the first thing many people reach for is rock salt, or other deicing chemicals. These are definitely effective at melting snow and ice, but there’s one problem: they harm concrete! That’s because the chemicals in salt and deicer can break through sealants and eat away at concrete. Over time, this can cause cracks to develop in the concrete, which lets water in, which freezes, melts, and refreezes, causing bigger cracks, and so it goes.

So what should you do to deice concrete? Should salt and deicers be avoided entirely?

There are many cases in which for the sake of convenience, salt and deicers make the most sense. In these cases, try to remove the salt and deicers as soon as the snow and ice have melted enough to be shoveled away. This allows the salt/deicer to melt the snow, but ensures it won’t sit on the concrete for too long, eating away at it.

If you can help it, try alternatives to salt/deicers. Sand is a great place to start. Sand will not melt snow and ice, but it will give pedestrians a better grip on the surface. It’s also harmless to the environment.

Proactive shoveling is another good way to avoid having to use deicer. Shovel walks and throw sand on them for an even better combination. Plus, the temperatures in Baltimore are supposed to warm up over the weekend and even more next week, so it looks like this snow isn’t long for the ground as it is. Here’s hoping this is the last major snow event of the year!


Are you in need of concrete repair in Baltimore? Contact Consolidated Coatings today!

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 6th, 2015 at 5:59 pm.