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Can Rock Salt Damage an Asphalt Driveway?

Can Rock Salt Damage an Asphalt Driveway?

Yes, rock salt can damage unsealed asphalt. Sodium chloride (Rock Salt) can accelerate the normal deterioration caused by freeze-thaw cycles in winter, shortening the lifespan of asphalt. The key to preventing damage to your asphalt starts in the summer with proper asphalt maintenance. Proper maintenance including seal coating, crack repair and paving keep your driveway or parking lot protected and minimize water penetration. Water penetration is especially problematic in the winter when water melted by salt can seep into your asphalt and re-freeze. As one of the best commercial crack repair companies in Chester County, PA, Superior Seal Coating can help you protect your driveway before winter so you can enjoy the snow instead of worrying about your driveway.

How Rock Salt Damages Asphalt

If your driveway is properly maintained, rock salt used sparingly will not cause significant damage. However, if your driveway is not properly maintained water melted by salt can seep into your asphalt and re-freeze. This can be especially problematic if your asphalt is already damaged, cracked, or fissured. The more damaged your asphalt is the more water it will allow to penetrate the surface. 

Alternatives to Rock Salt

We prefer Calcium Chloride or an Ice Melt mix. Calcium chloride is not as harsh as rock salt and can be effective down to -25° F. Ice Melt is typically a combination of sodium chloride, magnesium chloride pellets, and calcium chloride pellets and the resulting chemical reaction quickly deals with ice build-up. If you're a pet owner there are also organic options on the market that aren't hazardous to your furry friends!

Plastic Shovels

We always recommend you use plastic shovels instead of metal whenever possible. Metal shovels can scrape the surface of your driveway leaving permanent marks. Metal shovels can also damage loose or rough areas of asphalt. Generally plastic will do the job without damaging your driveway. 

Heating Systems

If you really hate shoveling snow you can install heating elements below your driveway to melt snow and ice on contact. This is not for everyone; it is expensive and will require the installation of a brand new driveway but you can throw away your snow shovel! Has your driveway seen better days? Want to be prepared for winter next year? Are you in need of asphalt driveway crack repair in Chester County, PA? Click here to learn more about Superior Seal Coating.