Don’t Let Rocksalt Sit on Your Concrete After a Snowstorm! 4 Ways Salt is Harmful to Concrete

You’ve seen it, right? Salt littered all over the place even after the snow is all melted and gone. It’s terrible! And while the salt serves no purpose, it can actually be detrimental to the surface it is resting on. At Construction Building Materials, providing lumber & building supply in Princeton, NJ, we want you to start being wary of salt on your concrete.  

Did you know? Rocksalt and deicers can contain chlorides like:

  • Sodium chloride
  • Potassium chloride
  • Calcium chloride

These “safe” de-icing chemicals, fertilizers, or even ocean water will chemically attack your concrete, causing it to deteriorate. Because they are mildly acidic, they are capable of disrupting the bonds that hold the concrete together. You don’t want the surface of your concrete to chip, flake, or spall do you? Instead of leaving salt on your concrete, it is best to get it off right away.


How does salt harm your concrete?


  1. Salt lowers the pH of your concrete, affecting the paste/aggregate and weakening the structure of it.

  2. Salt can exacerbate the freeze/thaw cycle by increasing your concrete’s pore size. This allows additional water to seep in and freeze, creating cracks and other damages.
  3. Being hygroscopic, salt both attracts and retains up to 10% more water into the concrete’s pore structure, leaving less room for expansion and more pressure inside.

  4. Salt speeds up carbonation and reduces the pH levels in your concrete via the Carbon Dioxide in the air. This subjects overpasses/bridges that are reinforced with steel to corrosion.


Next time you see salt on your concrete or before you consider sprinkling it on, think about the damages that salts and deicers can cause. While salt is extremely beneficial for getting rid of snow and ice, it does come with consequences. It is recommended to only use deicers sparingly for both the lifespan of your concrete and the environment. Try plowing or shoveling first before resorting to the use of salt or deicers! And if you do use them, when the snow and ice is all gone, be sure to remove all the residual or leftover salt.


At CBM, we try to make your job easier with our supplies and building materials. On top of that, we want to look out for you and your concrete! We also can offer you replacement windows in Bucks County to help you further with any of your needs. Be sure to contact us today!