Icy conditions are a fact of life during winter in Alaska, so it's vital to protect your driveway from the effects. Concrete contractors know using the right materials helps guard against damage on and below the surface. Here's how to extend the life of the path to your home.

A Guide to Protecting Concrete Driveways From Ice

What Does Ice Do to Concrete Driveways?

When water seeps into cracks in concrete and freezes, it expands in the spaces, making them wider and further damaging the driveway. In addition, ice creates a slick surface, which poses a danger to pedestrians, who may slip and fall, and to vehicles, which may lose traction. Removing the ice and restoring roughness to the surface helps keep the area safe for travel. 

Can You Use Salt?

Although it is an effective deicer, salt is a major reason why concrete deteriorates. Concrete contains calcium hydroxide, which reacts with the chloride in salt, creating calcium oxychloride. This compound crystallizes and causes cracking and pitting in the cement. 

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As a result, cracks and potholes develop and grow larger. Over time, salt erodes the rebar in concrete and causes concrete to become discolored and crumble.

What Should You Use Instead of Salt?

After removing as much snow as possible, spread gravel, sand, wood chips, or biodegradable cat litter on the driveway. Their textures lower the risk of slipping and falling because they improve traction. To help thaw snow and ice, spread calcium magnesium acetate. 

Ask your concrete contractor about applying a salt-guard sealant to your driveway, which will help protect it from the compound's corrosive effects. Silicone or siloxane coatings enable concrete to repel water, slowing the accumulation of ice and snow and enhancing the effectiveness of sand. 


To protect your concrete driveway from ice and snow, consult GMG General in Anchorage, AK. This concrete contractor offers a wide range of paving services to South Central Alaska customers. They have provided high-quality road and driveway construction and resurfacing since 1989. View examples of their work online or call (907) 349-7854 for a free estimate.