Does Salt Cause My Driveway Asphalt Pavement to CrackDoes Salt Cause My Driveway Asphalt Pavement to Crack?

Without a doubt, potholes and road deterioration increase during the winter. As such, salting is common practice with the aim of melting ice and snow on driveways. That makes the driveway less hazardous for the pedestrians and the vehicles.

But a common misconception is that salt deteriorates asphalt. That leaves most people in a dilemma since they want to eliminate the snow, but they don’t want to damage their asphalt driveway.

Salt Doesn’t Deteriorate Asphalt

Provided it was installed correctly by a qualified, professional, and licensed pavement company, applying salt will have no negative impact on your asphalt driveways. Usually, salt and other de-icing agents do not affect asphalt because hot-mix asphalt pavement is a mixture of stones, sand, and petroleum in the proportions that match the paving area engineered to withstand freeze-thaw cycle.

Another myth is that salt will cause potholes on asphalt causing it to deteriorate. Salt will affect asphalt only if it’s already severely damaged by other conditions.

However, as already noted, salt can worsen the damage on an already deteriorating driveway. Normally, at lower temperatures, water will remain in the liquid form in the presence of salt until 15 degrees.

Water combined with salt will continue undergoing the freeze-thaw cycles. Combine that with the increased number of cycles, an already deteriorated pavement and the cold, and there’ll be even severe damages.

How Do Asphalt Driveway Potholes Develop?

Freeze-thaw cycles of water are the primary culprits of potholes. They result when water seeps down through the pavement. Upon expanding the soil underground and then freezing, the pavement above will expand and defect creating a weak patch.

After that, the frozen water thaws and makes the gravel underneath to go back to its normal state. Following that, the elevated pavement will cave back in but now with a crumbling pothole. Plus, the situation gets worse when vehicles move on top of the weak patch further enhancing the potholes.

Salting Does Affect Concrete

Salt and other de-icing agents will cause concrete to deteriorate and develop severe cracks and potholes. The de-icing agents contain acidic properties that break the bonds holding the concrete together.

Naturally, concrete freezes faster compared to asphalt which increases the frequency of application. That results in increased damage.

Salt Has a Negative Impact on the Environment

While salt doesn’t affect asphalt and reduces hazards on driveways, it has an impact on the environment. The salt is harmful to the plants, animals and gets washed away to the water sources. The best practice is to remove the snow and de-ice sparingly. A mixture of salt and sand helps increase the traction, melting and causes minimal impact on the environment.

Midstate Excavation & Landscaping LLC is the number one choice for the landscaping and excavation needs of the Connecticut residents. Fully licensed and insured, we offer a wide range of services from the design and building of driveways, patios, walkways, water features, to drainage & grading. For these services and more, call (860)-228-0746.

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