How to Repair Salt-Damaged Concrete
Winter ice is dangerous, and salt is typically used to melt it away from driveways, walkways and steps. However, concrete can deteriorate if the salt is left in place for a long time. If you have exterior areas of concrete that have dimples or shallow cracks in them, the best solution is to apply concrete patch. The concrete repair will be structurally sound but may show a slight color difference.
Sweep the damaged concrete with a stiff-bristle push broom, using vigorous motions to dislodge any remaining chips and crumbles from the concrete. Push this material into a dust pan and then into a trash can.
Turn on a garden hose and spray the entire concrete area with a light spray of water until all of the concrete changes color but there are no water puddles on it.
Fill a bucket with 1 to 2 cups of concrete, or more if you are repairing a very large area such as a driveway. Slowly add water to the mixture until it is the consistency of paint. Stir the solution well with a paint stirrer, and then use a paintbrush to apply a thin layer over the entire damaged area of concrete.
Fill another bucket with a mixture of three parts gravel, two parts coarse sand and one and a half parts cement. Mix the solution with a trowel and add water until it is the consistency of peanut butter.
- Sweep the damaged concrete with a stiff-bristle push broom, using vigorous motions to dislodge any remaining chips and crumbles from the concrete.
- Stir the solution well with a paint stirrer, and then use a paintbrush to apply a thin layer over the entire damaged area of concrete.
Scoop up 1/2 cup of the mixture on the trowel and place it in the damaged areas of the concrete. Smooth the top of it out with the back of the trowel until it blends in with the surrounding undamaged concrete.
Place an old board on top of the concrete patch, and move it from side to side over the surface until the gravel sinks down and produces a smooth upper surface.
- Keep the repaired areas damp for the next seven days to allow the concrete to cure properly.
Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.