Is Salt Bad for Asphalt?

January 19, 2022

Many states, including Maryland, use salt to melt the ice on roads and parking lots. This leaves many residents wondering, does salt damage asphalt? The good news is that salt isn’t usually bad for asphalt surfaces, though it can cause concrete surfaces to deteriorate. There are also several things you’ll want to consider before salting your asphalt driveway, which we cover below.

Salt damages concrete surfaces

The acidic nature of salt can cause potholes and cracks to eventually develop on concrete surfaces. Concrete surfaces freeze over quicker than asphalt surfaces and often require much more salt to combat freezing.

Since concrete is porous, it can absorb more moisture than asphalt—and salt only increases this absorption rate. Once this moisture freezes and expands, it can create cracks and other damage.

While rock salt is one of the most affordable options for deicing concrete surfaces, you may want to consider an alternative option.

Salt is bad for the environment

While salt doesn’t usually damage asphalt surfaces, it is bad for the environment. If you take a lot of pride in your landscape, take special care when using salt. Salt can easily end up in lakes, rivers and drinking water. It’s also bad for local plant and animal life. Avoid having to use too much salt on your property by first shoveling or plowing your asphalt surface.

Does salt ever damage asphalt?

So, is salt bad for asphalt? For the most part, you don’t have to worry about salt damaging your asphalt surfaces. However, already-damaged asphalt surfaces can experience additional damage from salt. Salt and water can easily get into cracks, fissures and other imperfections in an asphalt surface. That’s why it’s important to have any damage repaired as soon as possible.

Other options

While rock salt is usually the cheapest and most efficient method of deicing an asphalt or concrete surface, there are some effective alternatives. For example, calcium chloride actually does a better job of deicing asphalt surfaces. It also has a lower environmental impact. That said, calcium chloride can damage plants when used in large amounts.

Additional options include installing an electric or hydronic heated driveway system or portable snow-melting mats. Just be sure to do a lot of research before purchasing any of these items. They often vary in cost and quality. However, a good heated driveway system may negate the need to use salt ever again.

Work with a professional

The best way of preventing salt from damaging your asphalt driveway is by working with a professional asphalt paving team. Professionals will avoid accidentally creating weak points in your asphalt surfaces. This will help prevent potholes, cracking and other types of damage.

If you’re a local property owner looking for top-quality asphalt paving services at fair prices, contact Maryland Asphalt LLC today! We have years of experience in paving driveways and parking lots of all sizes. Working with us means you’ll receive an asphalt surface built to last through any and all weather conditions. Reach out to learn more and schedule a consultation.

Categorised in:

Maryland Asphalt LLC