The Effects Of De-Icing Products On Asphalt

icy roads

Learn about the effects of de-icing products on asphalt.

While de-icing roads and driveways with salt and chemical de-icers is a common practice, the products can have a negative effect on asphalt. However, there are other options for effectively removing ice from your pavement without damaging the asphalt. Continue reading to learn about the impact of de-icing products and a few alternative products to try this winter.


Rock salt is the most common de-icer in the winter season, as about 15 million tons of salt is spread on roads across the country. Salted roads have a positive effect of increasing traction and reducing accidents, but the method is not as effective in melting ice without additional chemicals. When the ice melts, the salt melts with it into the soil, which can damage plant life. The salt and chemicals can also harm animals that come into contact with the products. Also, too much salt can slowly erode concrete surfaces as it is left to sit throughout the winter.

Chemical Products

There are many different chemicals used as de-icers on their own or mixed in with rock salt. While these products can be very effective at melting ice or even stopping ice from forming, they have a significant impact on pavement. The harsh chemicals can cause some of the chemicals that hold asphalt together to break down and result in cracks and structural problems. Limited use of chemical de-icers may not cause much damage, but excessive use will accelerate the wear and tear of asphalt and concrete.

Other Options

To keep your pavement damage free yet safe for pedestrians and drivers, it is essential to find other ways to de-ice your asphalt. Sand treatment is one option, as it provides traction on icy roads. This treatment has a few positives, but it also has a few disadvantages. While the sand is not likely to cause damage to asphalt, it is not very efficient as melting ice. Also, the sand will not wash away when the ice melts, but instead may build up and cause drainage issues.

Some people have found that their own creations have worked, such as beet juice mixed with sugar, but this is not yet an officially approved solution. If you find yourself in a situation where it is crucial to use de-icer, use a minimal amount possible to reduce the possibility of damage. It’s important to monitor the condition of the treated asphalt, and reach out to a professional asphalt paving company when your pavement is in need of repair.

Maintenance You Can Trust from PTG Enterprises

If you want to protect your pavement and ensure it has a long lifespan, choose PTG Enterprises for your community sidewalks, parking lots and pavement maintenance needs. We offer commercial concrete, asphalt, masonry, paving, consultation and survey report services throughout Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard, and P.G. Counties. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 636-8777. For more tips and tricks, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Flickr.

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