Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Snow & Ice Removal Tips...

Old man winter is almost here and it looks to be a bad one. Before you grab anything that says "Ice Melt", you may want to read this first. Here are some tips for you when it comes to snow & ice removal.
Concrete has great strength under pressure. Our houses sit on it, we drive on it, we depend on it. It does however have a weakness. Salt. It is kryptonite for concrete. Why is salt bad for concrete? Concrete is porous when installed. It soaks up moisture like a sponge. Salt, when diluted and absorbed, will eat up the concrete and cause what is called spalling. Spalling is caused by water freezing inside the concrete. Salt makes this worst by not only eating away at the concrete to allow water to absorb easier but salt also attracts water. Sealing your concrete helps prevent spalling but make sure you do this long after a rainfall and only in temperatures well above 50 deg. If you seal concrete with moisture still inside it can cause massive spalling when it freezes. If you need to get rid of ice on your steps or on concrete, make sure you use a product that does not contain any traces of salt. The best thing to use is Magnesium. I have a great source for some if you need it. Oh, and please don't slam your metal shovel into the ice and try to "chop" it. You will not be happy with the results when it melts.
Keep in mind that any ice melt product including salt needs moisture to activate it. If it is -3 deg. outside with no sun, you can dump the whole bag out and it wont do anything. Keep an eye on the temps and wait to put it down so you don't waist it. A little bit goes a long way...

Another problem that has come up over the last couple of years is the pre-treatment of the roads. I am sure you have seen the white lines on the roads a day before the storm. It is liquid sodium chloride, aka, liquid salt. After driving threw a snowstorm the snow will get stuck in your wheel wells. When you park your car on your concrete driveway, the snow starts to melt and drips onto the driveway causing spalling. I have seen this first hand. Try to get the snow off of your car before parking in on concrete or in the garage. Also, if you see the truck applying the Sodium chloride, stay away from him. It is very bad for your cars paint job!

Snow removal. Please remember to use the plastic shovels when removing snow from pavers and concrete. The metal shovels can chip and crack decorative surfaces. If you plan on having a plow truck do the work for you, please tell them they need to use a rubber blade on the snow plow.

As always feel free to call or email if you need anything and Good luck this winter!

Nick with NRC.

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