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Best concrete sealer to prevent salt damage? Any virgin concrete safe ice melts?

Best concrete sealer to prevent salt damage? Any virgin concrete safe ice melts?


Old 11-01-13, 09:20 PM
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Best concrete sealer to prevent salt damage? Any virgin concrete safe ice melts?

I'm having a concrete walkway poured in the next couple of days. I live in Western MA and am worried about ice melt damaging the concrete.

not very big, about 240sq ft.
I've read that there are sealers out there that will not allow that to happen, but everyone says theirs is the best!

Can anyone recommend some? Or what I can do to melt ice without damaging the concrete?

Of course, not putting down ice melt, is just looking for someone to get seriously hurt.

Advice would be appreciated.
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Old 11-02-13, 07:28 AM
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Using the proper concrete for a driveway will do more than any sealer.

Make sure you have 4000 psi with 5% to 7% air entrainment This is by far the most common mix around here. Some ready-mix suppliers will not even deliver or unload any concrete for exposed flat work that could be exposed to freezing and thawing.

Old 11-02-13, 07:37 AM
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Best approach, do not use salt.
Use magnesium chloride hexahydrate instead.
Just about anyplace that sells the salt will have some form of it.
It will not harm the lawn or the concrete.
Old 11-02-13, 08:00 AM
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Any salt will harm concrete. Especially new concrete. Magnesium Chloride may be the least harmful but not perfect. What you need to understand is that it's not the salt per say that is bad for the concrete. Look at it this way...pour salt (any salt) on a concrete slab. Let it get wet or stay dry for an unlimited time period, it won't harm the concrete. BUT!!!!, introduce freezing temperatures and thawing cycles and it will do a real number on it. The freeze thaw cycle is what you need to look at. Go to your local home improvement store and read the back of each package to see the freeze thaw cycle and recommendations about where and how to use. Not one manufacturer will guaranty that it won't harm concrete.

May I refer you to the following web site:

From About.com Chemistry
Melting Snow and Ice With Salt
By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Melting Snow & Ice with Salt

Look up on the Internet about thawing ice and using salt.

If you want to protect yourself in terms of liability and protect your driveway, use sand. Most liability will be limited to an honest effort to maintain safe premises when and where possible. If a person is injured due slipping on you driveway and you can prove that you did all you could in a reasonable manner then your insurance will cover you without you loosing a civil suit.
Old 11-05-13, 05:17 AM
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Norm201 is correct.
Good placing/finishing practices will also go a long way toward making your concrete last. Don't let them pour it wet. It should be placed at about a 4" to 5" slump. They should not be allowed to put any water on the slab to aid in finishing, nor in the truck to aid in pouring. A 4-5 inch slump is plenty workable.
Don't let them overwork the slab. for a sidewalk, bullfloating, letting it set up a bit, then broom texturing it is sufficient. It doesn't need to be hit several times with a float, and never with a trowel.
If you apply a product similar to either ChemMasters Silencure A or V-Seal 102 Winterguard immediately after finishing, it will be about as good as you're likely to get at this time of year. Both will protect well against salt damage, but they take some time to work because they need time to chemically react with the concrete matrix to repel water. It won't happen overnight, and may take a couple of weeks. The thing about the Silencure A is that t's both a film former and a penetrator, which is probably exactly what you need at this time of year.
Old 11-05-13, 09:40 AM
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The safest option for your new concrete is called a snow shovel. A beefy plastic one should do the trick without ruining anything.
Old 11-05-13, 02:58 PM
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Bridgeman is also correct. Look on any ice melt product and they will say "not for use on unsealed concrete OR concrete less than a year old". Even if yours is well-sealed and cured, it's still waaaaay under a year old. A shovel is your best bet until next winter at least.

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