Did you invest in a new concrete surface this past year, only to find that you are already seeing cracks or holes in your surface with weeks of winter weather still looming? More often than not, these cracks in your concrete are the result of a common practice around the nation: using rock salt to melt ice. While leaving ice on your concrete poses a serious hazard, removing it using rock salt leaves behind ice melt, which seeps into the pores of your concrete. As temperatures fluctuate, this ice melt refreezes and melts in a process called the freeze-thaw cycle, which in turn causes cracks in your concrete. So how can you repair this damage before it worsens, and how can you prevent it in the first place?
Repairing Ice Melt Damage
Often, the biggest obstacle to patching cracks in concrete surfaces is the weather. Both asphalt and concrete cannot be used to repair surface damages when the weather is too cold, as it will prevent the material from setting correctly. They also cannot be used when there is rain in the forecast, as it will damage the patch as it sets. That is why we designed our EPOXY Patching System, a unique ultra-strong epoxy formula designed to fix cracks and holes in concrete and other surfaces. Our two-part system is easy to use and can be applied in any temperature or weather condition – even in rain or snow. It also begins to set in just one hour and can be driven on 24 hours after application. One 25-pound pail can cover five to eight square feet, and a 50-pound pail covers 10 to 15 square feet.
The application process is very simple. Before applying the epoxy mix, be sure to wash your surface in order to clear away any loose rocks, dirt, grease or oil. In the provided container, combine parts A & B and mix for three minutes with either using a hand mixing stick or an electric drill mixer. Then, add the included aggregate in small amounts until the mixture is moist and easy to spread. Now you can apply the mix with a trowel into and over any cracks, holes or pits on the surface. The epoxy can even be feathered-edged to achieve a perfect finish, making it a great choice for repairing curbing as well.
Preventing Concrete Damage
If you would like to prevent ice melt-related concrete surface damage in the future, choosing an ice melt that is safer to use than rock salt is the answer. We have two different products to offer you for your ice melt needs, both of which are far less likely to cause cracks in concrete.
Our Calcium Chloride Ice Melt is a pelletized system that is easy to apply and effective down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it almost entirely eliminates the freeze-thaw cycle that makes rock salt cause so much damage to concrete surfaces. For those who live in areas with less extreme cold, or who are worried about using an animal-friendly ice melt, we also have our Pet Safe Ice Melt, a magnesium chloride-based product. It is effective down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit, and unlike rock salt, it will not burn your pet’s paws if they walk in it.
No matter which of these options you choose, you can have peace of mind knowing that your ice melt will not cause any further damage to your concrete!