Is Salt Safe to Use on Asphalt?

There are several myths out there regarding the use of salt on asphalt driveways and other pavements. Some people believe salt is very harmful for asphalt, while others strongly support its benefits. In this blog, we will review some of the more common misunderstandings about salting your driveway this winter, as well as, additional facts about the effects of salt on asphalt pavements.

Continue reading to explore this topic and learn more on what you need to know about proper asphalt maintenance and care.

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Asphalt Myths and Rebuttals

One of the most common arguments against using salt on asphalt pavements is that salt causes deterioration. This is untrue, so long as your asphalt was properly installed by a licensed pavement company. Asphalt is not effected by salt or any other de-icing agents; instead, its integrity can be compromised by the freeze-thaw cycles of water seeping into its tiny crevices. Although most asphalt material is engineered to withstand freezing and thawing damages, it is still important to have your asphalt properly seal-coated every few years or so to protect it from weather-induced damages.

Since many believe that salt causes asphalt to deteriorate, they also believe it creates potholes. This is also not true. Salt can really only affect asphalt if it’s already in severely-deteriorated condition. Potholes are created by freeze-thaw cycles of water. When water creeps down through pavement, it expands the soil beneath it and then freezes, which causes the pavement above it to elevate and defect. Then the frozen water thaws and the soil goes back to its normal state, causing the once-elevated pavement to fall back down, resulting in a crumbling pothole. Once this happens over and over again, season after season, the pothole gets bigger and nastier.

Something True About Concrete

One notion about salting pavement is actually true, and it has to do with concrete. De-icing agents will cause concrete pavements to deteriorate and crumble. This is because the acid values of these products break the bonds that hold concrete together. Since concrete freezes faster than asphalt, people are more prone to salting more often, causing quicker wear and tear. This is a concern for bridges and overpasses because air circulates all around them, causing them to freeze faster as well. Corrosion of concrete on bridges and overpasses is a dangerous situation. Salt can also be harmful to the environment by means of water-run off. Plants and animals can fall ill from over-exposure; so use salt wisely this winter!

Trusted Asphalt Paving Repair in Indianapolis, Indiana

Call ACI Asphalt and Concrete at 317-549-1833 for professional asphalt repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our licensed and qualified paving contractors provide a wide range of asphalt and concrete pavement repair and installation services at the most competitive prices in town, including crack filling, overlays, resurfacing, and sealcoating. Request a free estimate, today!

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