Maintaining concrete seems like a fairly boring job but IT IS important to prolong the life and beauty of your concrete. New and old concrete alike require care. The picture above is to illustrate what can occur if you do not. The most important process is to seal it annually or every other year. We recommend using a non-yellowing acrylic sealer after pressure washing the concrete. It is a rather simple process of painting on the sealer in uniformity. This is something homeowners can do on their own and also is a service we provide. At this time of year with the snow and ice this is not possible but there are steps you can take to minimize the damage road salt and snow removal can cause.
Most importantly, DO NOT use ice salt or rock salt to remove snow and ice from concrete. They are quite good at removing snow and ice but are harmful to the surface. The melting snow that follows ice salt is corrosive to the surface and will allow water to penetrate. It can then freeze and "pop off" portions of the surface. This is one of the most common types of damage to concrete we see and is easily avoided.
Chipping frozen ice is a terrible job to do(trust me I know) and bad idea for concrete. It inevitably damages the surface of the concrete. This can lead to further problems as water can then more readily enter the newly exposed areas and freeze causing further damage. Avoid ice chippers and aggressive shovels.
A good alternative is to shovel the areas often and as early as possible to prevent ice buildup requiring less aggressive measures later. Sand, pea gravel and cat litter are better alternatives to ice salt and can work effectively. Now if you'll excuse me it is snowing and I have a little shoveling to do myself.