Protecting your pavements, whether they be in the form of parking lots, sidewalks, or driveways, is an important part of protecting your overall, end-dame investment. There are several false assumptions about the effects of salt on pavement, so it is important to get your facts from a reliable source. Continue reading to learn the top 4 truths about salt on pavement, and clear up any misconceptions you might have.
4 Facts About Salting Asphalt and Concrete:
❶ Salt DOES Negatively Impact the Environment
Although salt is an effective method for protecting us against winter accidents, like slip and falls, car accidents, and pedestrian accidents, it is true that it can be harmful to the environment. Water run-off can transport salt directly into our waterways, which can impact plants and animals negatively; and it can also enter our water systems. There have actually been studies conducted that showed higher levels of salinity in local drinking water. But this doesn’t mean you have to stop using it! By shoveling snow first, and then using deicers sparingly, you can reduce the impact it might have the on the surrounding environment.
❷ Salt DOES Damage Concrete Over Time
Deicers are important tools for providing surface safety in the winter, but if you are using large amounts over a long period of time, it will cause concrete to deteriorate. There are 3 reasons why salt is harmful to concrete pavement: First, salt is acidic, and acid can break down the bonds within concrete. This causes crumbling, cracks, and more. Second, concrete pavement freezes faster than other pavements, which often leads to using more deicer. And third, concrete bridges and overpasses are generally constructed with steel; and overtime, steel corrodes from salt.
❸ Salt DOES NOT Negatively Impact Asphalt Pavements
So long as asphalt pavements are installed by a skilled and reputable paving company that uses proper methods and materials, there is no threat of deterioration as a result of salting. Asphalt is not affected by deicers because of the way it is engineered. Hot-mix asphalt is contains customized proportions of aggregates like stone, sand, and petroleum, which enables it to withstand the regional environment it was mixed for.
❹ Salt is Not to Blame for Pot Holes
It is a common misconception that deicers cause pot holes; but this is simply untrue, especially for asphalt pavements. However, it asphalt is already in a state of advanced corrosion, salt can create additional damage. Pot holes occurs when water enters the ground beneath pavement. Freeze thaw cycles causes the pavement to expand and contract, which eventually weakens its overall structural integrity. Add in regular wear and tear, and you will eventually have yourself a pot hole.