Are ice melt products safe for new concrete? What about fully cured concrete? This guide to ice problems on concrete has the answers.
Keeping your Home Safe
- Broken bones (in more than 5 percent of falls)
- Concussion (falls are the number-one cause)
- Death (falling is the leading cause of injury-related death in the elderly)
- Sprains, tendon tears and bruising
Pet are susceptible to being injured on ice in many of the same ways.
Reducing Premises Liability
There’s a secondary reason for maintaining slip-free concrete walkways, steps and porch: reducing the liability risk of a stranger, neighbor, delivery person or anyone else falling on your property. Premise liability is the basis for tens of thousands of injury lawsuits every year at a cost of millions of dollars to homeowners.
The most common cause of falling outside a home is ice. When the homeowner has had adequate time to remedy the ice issue but fails to, he or she is liable for injuries sustained when someone slips on it.
Using Ice Melter on New Concrete
Concrete experts warn that no ice melt product should be used on concrete that has not fully cured. While your concrete contractor might tell you that concrete cures in 28 days, this isn’t the whole story. It’s true that concrete can be sealed after four weeks. However, chemical changes take place and the concrete continues to harden for much longer.
How does ice melt damage new concrete?
Ice melt and other deicers lead to a problem called “spalling” in which the top layer of concrete begins to disintegrate and flake off. The problem can be widespread on concrete or first appear as pitting in isolated spots.
Why does spalling occur? The main reason is freeze and thaw cycles. Concrete is porous, so water penetrates its surface, though not very deeply. When that water freezes, it expands with enough force to crack the concrete on a microscopic level like it cracks a glass jar when it is filled with water and frozen. The more that deicers are used, the more freeze/thaw cycles occur – and the worse the pitting and spalling issues are.
Unsealed concrete and material that isn’t fully cured is highly susceptible to spalling because moisture penetrates more deeply. That’s why you should never use ice melt on new concrete. It causes the freeze/thaw cycles that do the damage!
Using Ice Melt on Older Concrete
While concrete that is a few years old or older is as hard as its going to get, its surface is still susceptible to damage from frequent freeze/thaw cycles. It simply doesn’t make sense to spread salt or other ice melter on concrete, new or old.
Ensuring Safety on Icy Concrete with Traction Magic
A dilemma has been exposed: You want to keep your household safe and yourself free from liability risk, but you don’t want to ruin expensive concrete! There is a way to cover all the bases.
Salt alternative Traction Magic is not a deicer. Instead, it covers icy surfaces with a gritty, secure layer to provide better footing than any other substance can. How does Traction Magic work? The proprietary formula works in two ways:
- Absorbers siphon water from the ice’s surface. From physics, we know that ice liquefies when compressed, as when someone walks on it, creating a layer of water that makes ice extremely slick. The absorbers are the solution. They absorb the water immediately.
- Gripper granules with many-sided spiked surfaces dig into the ice on contact in a way that standard grains of sand don’t have the shape for.
The grippers working with the absorbers produce a dry, stable non-slip surface for you, your household, your pets and anyone who walks on your property.
Where to Use Traction Magic
Try Traction Magic at home or where you work. Carry a bucket of Traction Magic in your car to provide instant traction for your tires if you get stuck. It will provide safe footing when you arrive home or at your destination in icy conditions.