Why Does Road Salt Damage Your Concrete?

In Canada road salt is used to control ice on roadways. At the right temperature range the salt melts the ice. Pretty simple concept. Here’s the problem.

When the ice turns to water, as in your garage, this salty brine get absorbed into your slab.

When the brine gets diluted enough from the water than the water freezes inside the slab which causes the surface to ‘spall’ . Once the surface is opened to the elements, your concrete can deteriorate very quickly, and what was once a small problem can turn into a big problem in a season or two.

salt damage beside garage door
Salt damage beside garage overhead door

So what can you do? Seal your concrete with a high build sealer, or better yet seal your concrete with flake system like our 123 flake system.

By putting down our flake system you create a space that is very attractive and it protects your concrete from further damage. In addition you create a much safer surface to walk on and thus helps prevent falls.

Depending on how the space is used a 123 flake system can last for many years. The great thing is that you can recoat the surface to regenerate it.

Best of all the price is very reasonable. When you factor replacement costs of a concrete slab the cost to seal and protect your floor is well worth it.

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Polished Concrete

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Polished Concrete

1.    Zero impact on the environment

Well maybe not zero, but very little.  Imagine you bought a warehouse that you are going to convert to apartments.  Very cool idea and gaining ground in urban areas.  After figuring out your budget, you decide on how to divide up the space, you pick out finishes, and do all of the things that you need to do. 

Everything that is going to go into that remodel will have some impact on the environment.  Drywall must be manufactured, as does paint, nails, and screws.  How about the lumber that needs to be installed?  Trees needs to be harvested for that.

Then what to do with the floor.  Carpet? Tile? Hardwood?  These choices all have an environmental impact.

If you consider the impact that polished concrete has it is very minimal.  Polished concrete is using a machine to process the concrete slab until the desired finish and gloss is achieved. 

You can create a focal point with your floor without installing anything.  Best of all the floor will last for years.  Experts agree, that it is a 20 year floor.

2.    Basement Flooring

When considering flooring for a basement you have to consider the possibility of a water or sewer break or flooding from heavy rains. 

Polished concrete is a breathable floor.  This floor will dry out from these types of events.  With polished concrete there is no worry about having a musty smell associated with a lot of basements.

Dye can be added to the slab during the polishing process and a splash of colour can soften the grey floor.

3.    Warehouses, grocery stores, box stores

Have you ever noticed the flooring at your local box store?  These stores have polished concrete because of the incredible savings over other types of flooring options.  Plus, there is no installation waiting time.

This type of flooring has the added benefit of tightening up the floor surface to stop concrete dusting from happening.

We did the Leduc Food Bank new warehouse location in a simple cream polish and they love it.

This is a great solution for warehouses that have forklift traffic because there is no danger of a topical coating getting damaged from surface traffic.

4.    Maintenance is a breeze

With polished concrete there is no stripping or waxing to keep the shine.  In many cases an auto scrubber can be used to do the daily maintenance of the floors.

5.    Safety

Polished floors are the safest floors for pedestrian traffic.  Even though the surface looks slippery polished concrete has the highest coefficient of friction.  Simply put this floor is not slippery.

6.    Cost

It always comes down to cost.  I tell my clients that like everything you get what you pay for.  Polished concrete will have a high up front cost, but when you weigh that over the life of the floor (for example 20 years), the cost can be minimal.  That combined with low maintenance costs, polished concrete is one of the most economical choices that there is.