Cracking, spalling, pitting, dusting – these are just some of the many effects de-icing and road salts have on concrete driveways, walkways, patios, and pool decks. Year after year, concrete deteriorates and the longer it is left unsealed, the faster the damage takes effect. There is a way to reduce salt damage to your concrete.

Apply a Densifier Sealer

If you already have salt damage, or if your concrete is showing signs of deterioration, you should apply a sodium or lithium silicate densifier. Densifier sealers penetrate into the surface of the concrete where they chemically react to form a permanent calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) structure within the pores. The CSH structure formed within the pores help to harden and densify up to two inches of the concrete surface by up to 45%. Stronger concrete is more resistant to damage caused by the surface abrasion from road salts and de-icing salts.

Apply a Water Repellant Sealer

Abrasion is not the only way that salt can deteriorate concrete. Salt causes snow and ice to melt, the concrete absorbs the water, the water freezes within the pores causes the concrete to crack and spall from within the pores. Spalling is when concrete breaks off into pieces. The only way to stop this type of damage is with a water repellent sealer, such as a siliconate water repellent or a silane siloxane water repellent. Water repellent sealers such as these form a hydrophobic barrier that caused water and other liquids to bead off the surface. When snow and ice melts to water, the water will evaporate, or freeze on the surface instead of in it.

How to Seal Concrete

  1. The first step to sealing concrete is to apply a sodium or lithium silicate densifier. Using a pump sprayer, saturate the surface of the concrete ensuring the sealer has been evenly applied to the entire surface. Repeat up to 3 times. This will help to reduce deterioration caused by abrasion from the road and de-icing salts.
  2. Five to seven days later apply a siliconate or silane siloxane water repellent sealer. Using a pump sprayer, saturate the surface of the concrete ensuring the sealer has been evenly applied to the entire surface. If a siliconate water repellent sealer is used, you will only need to apply one coat. If a silane siloxane sealer is used, two coats are suggested. This will help to reduce deterioration caused by water freezing within the pores.

Apply a Protective Coating 

While sealers help to significantly reduce deterioration caused by road salts, coatings will stop it. Acrylic sealers leave behind a durable surface film that will take the abuse road salts would have put on concrete. Road salts can reduce the life of an acrylic sealer, but on average you can get 1-5 years of life before the need for a recoat.

About Foundation Armor

Foundation Armor is proud to be a family-owned and operated company that manufactures 100% in the United States. We produce concrete sealers, coatings, and repair products. Perfect for commercial and residential application, our sealers protect you concrete against the harshest conditions. If you invest in coating your concrete with our products, you get an extended life for you concrete which can exceed 10 years. Our technicians are available on our website’s live chat for discussion and also by phone at (866) 306-0246.