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Old 01-17-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


With the recent snow here in TN, my concrete driveway needed some help. I bought some ice melt from my favorite store (home depot) and sprinkled some on it. Some clearing was taking place. Then the temperature dropped to 16 one night and 19 the next. Then after 2 days the temperature warmed (40's) and lots of the driveway was exposed. Sections of the driveway that had the ice melt sprinkled on it had been damaged. My guess is that the salt loosened up the top layer of the concrete, and when the temps dropped, potions poped up. Pieces the size of a quarter to hand size have come up. What a bunch of ****. Research on the web warns of this happening. Thanks for the warning. Now what? Approximately 20 sq ft of damage.

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Old 01-17-2011, 09:31 PM   #2
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


Normal salt and most "ice melts" use a lot of normal salt (Sodium chloride, NaCl, rock salt and similar materials) because it is cheap. How old is the driveway and is was it poured with air entrained concrete?

Dick

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Old 01-17-2011, 10:17 PM   #3
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


I think that Dick has the answer already, no air-entrainment, as it's probably not commonly used in TN.

I'd actually take typical untreated rock slat over most anything else though on concrete.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:36 PM   #4
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


In our area, most suppliers will refuse delivery to a driveway unless it is air entrained and higher strength. They just think it is better to pass on few loads than to get into problems and sorting out the finishing questions and relationships with contractors/labor suppliers/owners and then the inevitable curing questions. A contractor just orders xx yards of concrete for a driveway and gets what works and is guaranteed.

Dick
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:24 AM   #5
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


Thanks for the reply. My drive is about 5 years old. I am not sure about the air entrapment. I wont know the true extent of the damage until all the snow goes away and it dries out a little. I'm hoping I can just seal and patch the areas where it has popped out.

Steve
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:02 AM   #6
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


There are alternatives to choose from when considering ice melt for driveways and sidewalks. Check out this link:
http://community.homedepot.com/t5/Ma.../m-p/7049#M158
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


we just got a bit of snow here in atlanta ( 10" at my house, dick ! ),,, thankfully we had shovel,,, we won't place any exterior conc w/o air in it, either,,, contrary to what the previous poster touts, letting the Almighty remove it is still the best method,,, listen to dick & jo !

ps - any patching will stick out like a sore thumb - especially if you use apron store stuff !
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:31 PM   #8
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
In our area, most suppliers will refuse delivery to a driveway unless it is air entrained and higher strength. They just think it is better to pass on few loads than to get into problems and sorting out the finishing questions and relationships with contractors/labor suppliers/owners and then the inevitable curing questions. A contractor just orders xx yards of concrete for a driveway and gets what works and is guaranteed.

Dick
Same here, if not specified, you're getting air. If I ask for no air, or a partial air adjustment, they automatically ask what I'm doing. I'm not sure why anyone would pour w/o air anyways, as it costs next to nothing, and speeds up the finishing time & quality so much.



As for the OP's situation, I can tell you this much. Moderate use of either rock salt (sodium chloride) or calcium chloride WILL NOT damage a good concrete job. It certainly can destroy an inferior installation though.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:51 PM   #9
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


Diamond Rocksalt destroyed my driveway. It was all that was available at Home Depot and Lowes through the snow in Dec./Jan.. It never snows here in the Huntsville, Al area. At no time did anyone from HD or L warn of the salt damage to your concrete.
There is no warning on the bag other than, "for good concrete maintainance remove salt after snow melts." Huh? That's rediculous! I think the Manufacturers and the Retailers have an obligation to post a "Warning: Hazardous to Concrete". They make money off the salt and then sell you the materials to repair it. I had a beautiful driveway in a very nice neighborhood. Now it's destroyed!
I am looking for consumers to help file a class-action lawsuit against them all. It's going to cost about $5000 to repair my driveway.
Anyone with information on how to do this please contact me.
We can do it!
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


Do you demand warnings for every possible problem you can get into with everything you buy? For example, you buy a mountain bike, do you want a warning that mountain biking can be dangerous to your health if you fall if and hit your head? You buy a drill, do you expect a warning that the drill can be dangerous if you put the bit through your hand? You buy an oven, you want a warning that the oven gets hot, and you can burn yourself?

So you buy rock salt and want a warning that it can damage poorly installed concrete? How about a warning that rock salt can cause damage to your lungs if you inhale it? Or cause gastrointestinal problems if you eat it? Or cause eye irritation if you get it in your eyes? Now you want to start a class action suit. May as well start one against every product ever made, there is always something that can go wrong.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:48 PM   #11
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


More than likely one application of salt didn't cause the problem. It was the melting and then the re-freeze of the water at night when the temperature dropped again. Concrete is a porise material. This in conjunction with the concrete not being air entrained (air entrained concrete has millions of tiny air pockets to allow space for the expansion when it freezes) is likely what caused the top popping off of the drive. Based on the area you live in Building code requires exterior concrete to be what is called sw or severe weather, which in part is air entrained concrete. A warmer climate wouldn't require SW concrete.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:46 PM   #12
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


why not sue everyone on the block for not telling you salt's a no-no on conc ? we made good $$$ repairing bdge decks due to salt damage,,, sure miss that work here in ga

in case anyone's wondering, the cruise was nice especially the casino part
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:35 PM   #13
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


You said "ice melt/rock salt". Which one was it? Rock salt is large salt crystals. Ice melter is a commercial formulation and shouldn't be used on concrete or pavers of any kind.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:54 PM   #14
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


rock salt shouldn't be used either! it destroyed my pavement. looks like a valcano hit it ....
somebody help me, Jesus!
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:31 PM   #15
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Ice melt / rock salt ruined my concrete


The answer to WHY already lies here in the tow different threads you asked these questions in. The concrete apparently wasn't air entrained to allow some room for the expansion of freezing water. Totally understandable I guess, as you probably rarely see freezing temps with moisture much less any amount of snow in your locale. The problem was probably just compounded by the use of the de-icer. And rock salt (sodium chloride) DOES NOT chemically attack concrete as some other commercial de-icers do. It very well could aid in the amount of freeze-thaw cycles though, which is ultimately hard on the concrete surface.

There is nothing you can do now to "un-do" the damage, other than possibly trying a salt "nuetralizer". I can try to find more info on them if you're interested. At some point, you'll have to decide if you want to live with it teh way it is, replace the entire driveway, or try some kind of topping material to cover the damaged drive.

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