During the winter, your garage protects your vehicle from ice and snow, as well as prevents frost from forming on your windshield. You can easily pull out of your garage without worrying about your radiator freezing if you keep your garage door in good repair.
The winter, on the other hand, can wreak havoc on your garage flooring. When you pull into your garage, the ice and slush from your tires drip onto the concrete. Your flooring will stain and even pit after several weeks or months of bad weather. Deicing fluids and road salts that have been deposited on the concrete floor are commonly responsible for these stains and damage. You may have tried cleaning and rinsing the concrete several times, but the salt just keeps coming back.
We’ll go over the best methods for cleaning and removing salt stains from your garage floor. In addition, we will cover how to repair any concrete damage that may have occurred as a result. But first, it’s critical to understand why the salt stains return, the damage they can cause, and why they must be stopped. To learn more about salt stains on garage floors contact Durham’s professional garage door repair experts.
Why Road Salts And Deicing Fluids Damage Concrete Garage Floor?
Road crews typically use various forms of liquid magnesium and calcium chloride to de-icing salts on the roads when it snows. By applying these products, the ice and snow are essentially melted with the goal of preventing refreezing.
The issue with this is that it frequently attaches to the underside of your car, where it eventually ends up on the garage floor. These deicers produce a liquid brine that permeates your bare concrete’s pores rather than freezing on top.
This brine refreezes once it is dilute enough to lose its effectiveness or when the temperature drops low enough. When water freezes, it expands and causes tiny cracks in the concrete as a result.
Throughout the winter, this cycle can repeat itself. Spalling is the result of the concrete’s broken and fractured surfaces.
The process of subfluorescence has yet another unfavorable side effect. This is a buildup of salts that are water soluble that is just below the concrete’s surface. Your garage floor’s moisture evaporates, leaving behind salts that re-crystallize in the pores of the concrete.
Concrete’s naturally occurring calcium hydroxide will react with this dangerous salt buildup (calcium chloride). The salt becomes calcium oxychloride (CAOXY) as a result of this reaction. The concrete cracks and breaks as a result of the COAXY crystals’ expansion inside of it. Additionally, the floor is left with those unsightly white stains.
Water that seeps into a bare concrete garage floor can still freeze overnight and gradually cause similar damage even if road deicers aren’t used in your town. Adding salt doesn’t speed up the process at all.
How To Remove Salt Stains And Make Garage Floor Clean
The first step is to thoroughly clean the entire garage floor to reveal any salt stains. Do not use a pressure washer, no matter how tempting it may be. The high water pressure will drive the salt crystals deeper into the concrete, making them more difficult to remove.
Once the floor has been cleaned, removing stubborn stains from concrete is usually not too difficult. You’ll need some elbow grease and the right salt cleaning solution. Rinsing with excess water repeatedly is ineffective.
6 Simple Steps – Salt Cleaning Solution
- 1 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of hot water, followed by a squirt of dish soap.
- Allow the white vinegar solution to penetrate the salt deposits on the entire floor for 5 minutes.
- Add a little more solution after 5 minutes and scrub the stubborn salt stain with a stiff deck brush.
- Remove the salty solution from the concrete surface with a wet vac. If not, a mop will suffice.
- Give a clean water rinse.
- If necessary repeat.
The wet vac (preferred method) is used to prevent salt residue from being dispersed back into the pores of the concrete when it is rinsed. This is why simply rinsing with warm water to remove salt is ineffective.
Protect Your Garage Floor From Winter Salts
Once you are satisfied with the outcome of the cleaning process on your garage floor, the next step is to protect it from future winter damage.
The simplest and least expensive method is to apply a quality sealer that prevents road salts and deicing fluids from penetrating the concrete. We strongly advise using a silicone-sealed concrete densifier.
The densifier helps to strengthen the concrete’s surface, and the sealer provides excellent resistance to liquid and salt penetration.
It has no effect on the appearance of the concrete and maintains the same slip resistance as before treatment.
If you’re not sure whether to use a simple sealer or a floor coating, we have a great article about garage floor sealers that explains the differences.
We recommend using a winter containment mat to keep fluids and road salts from coming into contact with the concrete of your garage. These mats will keep your garage floor dry and collect any liquids, salt, snow, or other winter debris that may have dripped off your vehicle.
The first step in removing salt stains from your garage is to contact a reputable garage door repair company in Durham. Tip Top Garage Doors Durham offers a wide range of garage door services at reasonable prices.
If you want to install a new garage door in your home, simply call the Garage Door Repair Experts at Tip Top Garage Doors Durham at (919) 701-3003.