Believe it or not, winter is almost over — and spring is just around the corner. In other words, it is the optimal time to assess any damage to exterior masonry and concrete and start taking steps to fix it.
Did You Use Rock Salt On A Concrete Driveway?
If you used rock salt on a concrete driveway — or even on concrete walkways or steps — it’s highly likely that you’ll see some significant damage to these exterior features. And that’s a big deal. Seventy-one percent of home buyers rely heavily on curb appeal when purchasing homes, meaning that this damage could significantly affect your home’s resale value.
Routine, heavy rock salt application can “damage masonry surfaces, degrade mortar joints, and harm surrounding vegetation,” according to The New York Landmarks Conservancy. Homeowners can help reduce these damaging effects and preserve concrete, masonry, and quality workmanship in a few simple steps. First, if you must use rock salt or an equivalent deicer, make certain that sidewalks or driveways are more than six months old. Concrete for steps, driveways, and walkways will be hardier after this six month period. Use rock salt sparingly, if at all — and remove as much ice and snow as you can with a shovel or snow blower first. Finally, some deicer materials are less harmful than others. Ice melt products with carbonyl diamide, for instance, often leave concrete and masonry untouched or only minimally affected, according to Consumer Reports.
What If It’s Too Late?
Let’s say the damage is done. Maybe you can follow these tips next winter, but you have already been using rock salt — and lots of it — this past winter. That’s okay. More often than not, concrete repair services can quickly and relatively inexpensively repair small cracks and fissures resulting from rock salt and deicer use. Other projects, such as repairing large cracks or a concrete or paver driveway more than 25 years old, can take much longer. In fact, many experts recommend replacing concrete driveways after 25 years.
Have you been using rock salt on your masonry steps? The 140,000 U.S. masons, contractors, or concrete repair services can help you fix damage resulting from rock salt, or even help you replace old driveways from the ground-up.