How to Protect Your Garage From Winter Salt Damage

Living in central Pennsylvania ought to give you some insight on how road treatment trucks apply excessive amounts of winter salt during snow and ice storms.

Salt is indisputably effective at cleaning roadways and making them safer for everyone, but spreading a corrosive material can gradually lead to unfortunate consequences. Not only does salt eat away at the underside of our cars, but it can also beat up the concrete in your garages.

Here are some tips on how to winterize your garage floor from road salt damage.

How Does Salt Damage Your Garage?

The granular nature of the salt allows it to stick in boot soles and tire treads, which leads it right into your garage after you pull in. It eventually will deposit on the floor, and buildups can drain into the concrete’s pores. The deposits become diluted and less effective at preventing refreezing, and colder garages will then facilitate the liquid’s conversion into ice. Finally, the ice expands and causes damage — we refer to this process as spalling.

You can also experience sub-florescence, which involves the lingering moisture evaporating and leaving the pure salt behind. That salt will recrystallize in the pores and cause excessive flaking off the top layer, leaving white stains that can be difficult to remove.

Complete a Thorough Cleaning and Keep Up On It

You can follow multiple tips for keeping the garage floor clean in winter.

First, undertake a quick initial cleaning to get the top layer of dirt and grime off. When you do that, you can better see what you’re working on. You can then move on to a more detailed, harder scrub with a cleaning solution — try mixing a gallon of warm water, one cup of vinegar and a splash of strong dish soap. You can also find pre-made solutions designed with salt removal in mind.

After completing your scrub, wash off the floor with a regular hose. While it might be tempting, it’s wise to avoid pressure washers during this process because the high amount of force can drive salt further into the concrete.

From there, keep cleaning on a somewhat frequent basis during periods where road crews apply a lot of salt. Try to rid the garage floor of snow and ice whenever necessary.

Place Down a Containment Mat

Perhaps the easiest method for salt damage prevention involves putting down specialized containment mats.

Place the mats on your usual parking spot, and they will collect a large percentage of loose snow, ice, salt deposits and deicing solutions. You can clean these mats fairly easily without making a mess, and you can roll them up for convenient storage once winter concludes.

Seal Your Garage Floor

One long-term solution you could explore is sealing the floor. Apply a penetrating sealant that enters deep into the concrete’s pores and creates a protective layer. It will resist other fluids from leaking in, thus curtailing the chance for salt damage. Other sealants remain on top of the concrete to form the barrier, but they work just as well.

Epoxy coating is another option. It’s supremely durable, and it resists common winter weather while remaining easy to clean. If you want to go with this high-quality choice, you’ll need to do it during a time where it will be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the entirety of the process. If it dips below that mark, the sealant will not cure properly.

Contact Jarusewski’s If You Need Garage Door Repair

We’ve offered our extensive services for more than 30 years throughout Carlisle, Mechanicsburg, Aspers, Mt. Holly, Boiling Springs and other nearby areas. Contact us today to discuss the services we offer!

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