Dealing with Winter’s Damage to Your Garage Floor

Winter can be brutal for garage floors. In particular, the road salt residue that drips from your car after you park it in your garage can be very damaging.

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Road salts aren’t composed of the type of salt that’s in the saltshaker sitting on your dining room table. Instead, road salt is composed of a chemical cocktail that typically includes ingredients such as calcium hydroxide, calcium magnesium acetate, and sodium acetate.

And that chemical cocktail dripping onto your garage floor does very bad things.

How Road Salt Residue Damages Your Garage Floor

When residue from road salts drip from your car onto the bare concrete of your garage floor, here’s what happens…

The briny mixture drips onto the surface of the concrete, but it doesn’t stay on the surface. Instead, it gradually seeps deep into the porous structure of the concrete.

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This mixture, of course, is no longer pure road salt. It has been mixed and diluted with the water remaining from the ice and snow that the salt helped to melt. So what drips onto your garage floor is a weakened, diluted version of road salt. That’s a bad thing, because this diluted briny mixture will freeze at a much higher temperature than pure road salt.

And that’s exactly what happens.

When the temperature drops in your garage, the road salt residue – which has now worked deep into the pores of your concrete floor – will refreeze. In the process of freezing, it expands. And when it expands, it damages the structural integrity of your garage floor’s concrete.

The result can be a garage floor with a chipped and broken surface. It’s called spalling.

Cleaning The Stains

You can do something about the ugly stains left on the surface of your floor from the accumulated residues of road salt.

If you’ve tried just rinsing those salt stains off with water, you know that that’s not terribly effective. Instead, mix up a solution that’s composed of:

  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • A squirt of liquid dish detergent

Pour some of this solution on the salt-stained areas, and scrub with a stiff brush. After giving the stains a good scrubbing, use a mop or a wet vac to remove as much of the residue as possible. Then rinse with lots of clean water.

For particularly tough salt stains, you might have to repeat the process a couple of times to get the best results.

Good luck!

P.S. One alternative to dealing with the damage and staining caused by road salt residue? TLC’s Polyaspartic Polyurea system. It’s like a magic shield that makes your garage floor absolutely impervious to the damaging effects of road salt residue.

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And there’s no better time than right now to protect your floor, and eliminate the staining from a winter’s worth of road salt residue. Call Linda, Jackie, Shelly or Carolyn right now at 410-721-2342 or reply to this email with your name and phone number. They will get you scheduled for an estimate and you’ll have your brand-new garage, basement or patio floor coating in days!

 

Author: Bob Carr

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