salt and driveways: equal damage to concrete or macadm?


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Old 08-14-15, 05:41 AM
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salt and driveways: equal damage to concrete or macadm?

just a general question. on the off chance I have my driveway replaced someday, I was curious which could take more of a beating from salt. for over 15 years I bought things other than salt to do the driveway to try to preserve it, but I really cannot afford the 20 bucks a bag for the stuff anymore as bad as winters as we've been having. so I've been using salt for the past few years on my concrete driveway here in PA. id say I used about 10 to 15 bags last year to keep my hill safe.
 
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Old 08-14-15, 06:01 AM
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I think that you would be better off with concrete. However, either one is going to outlive us with or without the salt.

You happen to jog my memory on a related issue. When I worked in NYC high rise office buildings, management ordered ice melt, shovels & other snow materials, in September or October. You might want to do the same thing.
 
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Old 08-14-15, 09:04 AM
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If you replace and are in a cold area that sees snow melt and freezing, the best thing to do is use the right concrete. - Here the standard is 4000 0r 4500 psi with 5% to 7% air entertainment. Some companies will not even unload lesser concrete if the drivers sees that it is a driveway.

It has noting to do with a "code", but the suppliers would rather lose a job than be blamed for poor concrete. The in-place cost is not appreciably higher if you are having it done by a good contractor. that would not normally use concrete that is not air entrained.

Dick
 
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Old 08-15-15, 03:02 PM
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I assume by replacing, you mean a concrete vs an asphalt drive. Both have their pluses and minuses.

Concrete will take a heavier load and not "sink" in hot weather. If properly dressed before use (anti-spaulding compound) it will hold up against pitting. It looks good but it can stain if oil or gas is dropped on it. If salt is used sparingly and brushed off before a thaw freeze cycle starts it won't be a problem. Concrete cracks (no matter what kind it will crack eventually). There are two kinds of concrete: fresh poured and cracked! During snow a concrete drive is harder to shovel. Snow will tend to stick to it. It will tend to heave if water is under it.

Asphalt (blacktop), is very easy to shovel in winter. The snow will slide off and will melt quickly if even a small area is exposed to the sun. It will have depressions in it if you park a camper of car in one spot on a regular basis in the summer. Stains are easy to take off and yearly resurfacing with blacktop coating is easy. It will look new for a short period of time. It's easy to hose off in summer. Blacktop is pretty much impervious to salt and the freeze thaw cycle providing there is not cracks or spaces for water to settle into.

Keep in mind that salt in of itself does not harm concrete. You can set a large block of salt on a concrete slab for years and it won't do anything. However, if ice gets on it and melts it into crevices it will re-freeze and pop the concrete. The more expensive "ice-melt salts" have various ingredients that will extend the temp range of the freeze thaw cycle, preventing re-freezing of water into the crevices.
 
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Old 08-15-15, 03:36 PM
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I assume by replacing, you mean a concrete vs an asphalt drive.
He said macadam not asphalt.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macadam
 
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Old 08-15-15, 04:08 PM
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Norm -

It is SPALLING and not SPAULDING. You know what it is but others may not understand your meaning. In some areas/countries spaulding means some thing different.

How do you "brush off" over 12" of white stuff that is driven on by cars and snow blowers before a hot sun on a 0F day begins to burn it off both concrete and asphalt pavements. Radiant heat goes through almost anything and even causes the snow to sublimate (go from solid the vapor without melting).

Dick
 
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Old 08-15-15, 05:58 PM
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interesting - never saw conc that failed if right design mix was properly placed, finished, cured, & jointed,,, usually 1 step wasn't completed right ergo cracks,,, usual cause of cracks: 1, heavier loads than anticipated (dynamic / static ); & 2, improper joint pattern

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Last edited by stadry; 08-15-15 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 08-15-15, 06:10 PM
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It is SPALLING and not SPAULDING.
I knew it was wrong but I just couldn't think of the right word. Getting old is a drag. Spaulding is the name of a company that makes outdoor lighting. Spalling means to break off in small pieces.

Brushing off the snow is tough. If you're able, you go out several times during the snowfall and keep shoveling. No it's not practical, but under normal or typical conditions you should be able to clean off most salt before the next freeze takes place. The act of shoveling usually does it.
 
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Old 08-15-15, 06:15 PM
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maybe i've been down here too many years but aren't there deicers now that do NOT include salt ?

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Old 08-15-15, 06:29 PM
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Yes, but they are expensive. And then you shovel them off only to re-apply again the next snowfall. The circle of life or some such nonsense.
 
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Old 08-15-15, 08:29 PM
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He said macadam not asphalt.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macadam
If you read that entire article near the end it states that in some places the United States (Pennsylvania is specifically mentioned) macadam is used as a generic term for road services. Based on this in the fact that the OP is from Pennsylvania I'm sure he is referring to asphalt.
 
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Old 08-15-15, 09:41 PM
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Or even road surfaces.

Road services are what your state, province, or local highway agencies usually provide (or at least are supposed to).
 
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Old 08-18-15, 05:04 AM
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reason for post is that I haven not posted the pics but half way down my hill I have a valley in my concret that is getting deeper all the time and the pervasive stones that keep appearing on the driveway are annoying. so I was just wondering if after 60 years of the concrete being here that it was just 'going bad' because of nature or because I switched to salt a few years ago and it didn't like it . this valley is a few inches wide and looks and inch or two deep I don't know if self repair is really an option but id like to try it. I know I have to post pics sometime. but something tells me repairing on a steep hill is not fun.

I have a Honda track drive blower (purchased after the 96 blizzard) and it gets me thru most anything. also the hill faces north so no sun really ever reaches this driveway and my entire yard seems to be on a giant freezer as I have snow on it longer than anyone else around here. so I use many many bags of salt on the hill. thankfully sun is at the top level of the driveway so I never really salt there.

bare concrete is a must for 'mere mortal' cars to get up my driveway because I had 2 people with AWD try to get up in just one inch of snow as well as my normal daily driver car and you cannot. so if im caught at work and it snows I cannot get up the driveway. but if I have the jeep ive gotten thru 6 inches up the driveway.

ive also learned buying homer buckets at the store is a great way of storing all the salt and carrying onto the driveway.
 
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Old 08-18-15, 07:14 AM
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found my solution.no chemicals...this seriously may work for me on my hill. I wont freeze cause ill have fire and it should take it down to bare

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmJL6XoVElc
 
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Old 08-18-15, 07:20 AM
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If your driveway has lasted 60 years, I would stay with concrete. You would be luck if a macadam will last 20 years! There are other options for melting ice on a driveway instead of salt. We used Urea at the landfill to keep from having chloride ions in our ground water. You could also place heating pipes into the new concrete and use hot water to melt the ice.
 
 

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