Salt on a Concrete Driveway: Pro Tips and Alternatives

Rick Goodmanson
Rick is the CEO of Goodmanson Construction where he facilitates opportunities for both staff and clients to achieve their goals.

Snow and Ice Management for your Driveway

Do you want to avoid turning your driveway into an ice rink this winter?

Ice can be very dangerous, while many turn to salt to solve the problem, it can do some heavy damage to your concrete. Here’s what we recommend.

Many people don’t know you shouldn’t put salt on concrete. This leaves many wondering what they should use instead! Max Goodmanson from Goodmanson Construction here with a few concrete tips on snow and ice management. Having cleared snow and ice since 1971 we’ve learned a few do’s and don’ts about cleaning up your driveways and such after the snow hits.

Salt on a Concrete Driveway

Don’t Use Salt on Concrete or Asphalt!

You should NOT use salt on a concrete driveway.

Salt can and will eat away at the surface of your concrete and asphalt.

Effective Salt Alternatives

While you can’t use salt on concrete, there are many effective alternatives you can use to manage snow and ice in the winter.

Kitty Litter is a good alternative for traction and the melting of ice.

Sand is another alternative that’s going to give you some traction on the ice, though it’s not going to help as much with melting.

Chemical Deicers: While most chemical deicers do not attack properly placed and cured concrete they increase the freeze/thaw cycles which can contribute to damage to your concrete and asphalt. So, if you choose to use a deicer, ice and snow should always be removed promptly and any excess deicer brushed away after the surface has been cleared.

Salt is also in short supply and mostly used by commercial snow removal companies.

Salt Storage Goodmanson Construction

Sometimes You Gotta Do What you Gotta Do

Safety is the most important thing. So if all you’ve got some salt and that’s all you have, and that’s the only thing you can do to get rid of the slip hazard… then go for it. At the end of the day, safety is always first. It is always best to remove the ice and slip hazard on your property than to risk safety over protecting your concrete. But, if the choice is between using salt or some kitty litter, use the kitty litter.

Now if you want to avoid covering your driveway with sand or kitty litter, we have some helpful tips for how you can avoid getting into that choice to begin with.

Helpful Tips for Snow and Ice Management

First, it is nice to have your concrete or asphalt clear of any leaves and twigs before the snow falls. This makes shoveling and snow blowing easier and more efficient.

For those who use a snow thrower, a rubber paddled one is best for your surface. Be it concrete or asphalt the steel bladed snow throwers can scratch the surface where as the rubber ones will not. The same goes for your shovels. A plastic bladed shovel is the way to go for the places you can’t use the thrower. Plastic is lighter and doesn’t scratch the surface.

Ice may also be a problem in this winter wonderland we live in.

The best way I have found to deal with ice is to make sure you keep up with clearing the snow. The first snow fall is the most important because if you don’t get your driveway, patios and sidewalks clean after the first snow, you are sure to get ice from melting in the day and refreezing over night.

Once you have a layer of ice on the surface it will be very difficult to shovel and/or blow the following snow falls. In other words, the best way to deal with the ice is to have no ice to begin with. We all know that’s never going to happen in Minnesota, so here are a couple things to keep in mind should you get ice.

snow plow working to manage snow and ice

The Best Way to Manage Snow and Ice

While it may seem simple, the best way to manage snow and ice in the winter is to clear any debris from your driveway/sidewalks/patios. Use rubber paddled snow throwers and plastic shovels to avoid scratching surfaces. Most importantly, avoid salt and other chemicals by keeping the surface clean to avoid ice in the first place.

If you are in need of a new asphalt or concrete driveway, you might want to consider in-ground radiant hydronic heating to melt the snow and ice. Not only will this prolong the life of your driveway, but it will also save your back from the winter shoveling. If you want to avoid shoveling all together, it might be wise to hire someone to handle the snow and ice removal for you.

Regardless of how you choose to manage the snow and ice in the winter, Goodmanson is here to help. Whether it is a new concrete or asphalt driveway, or installing in-ground radiant hydronic heating, our team of experience professionals are here to help. Give us a call today to learn more!

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