Using salt to melt ice that has formed on a concrete driveway can permanently damage the concrete, presenting you with a costly repair job. Learn more below about how to safely melt ice from a concrete driveway.
Why Salt Harms Concrete
Rock salt used to melt ice harms concrete in two distinct ways. First, it turns the ice and snow on top of concrete into slush, which seeps into the concrete during a thaw. When the air cools, the slush will freeze and expand inside the concrete, making it crack and flake. Secondly, salt dissolves easily in water, and in fact attracts water to it. When this salt and water mixture percolates into the concrete, it expands even more when it freezes.
How to Prevent Ice Damage to Your Concrete
Lay the concrete driveway no later than the end of August. It can then fully cure and settle into a hard, water-resistant surface before the first frost. Choose concrete with 4000 pounds per square inch of pressure tolerance. Clear-coat your concrete driveway with a silane or siloxane sealant, which allows concrete to release moisture. Use sand to melt ice on your concrete driveway. Because it is a darker color than the ice, sand will help the melting process by holding the sun's heat.