Patching Eroded Walkways
LESLIE: Sal in New Jersey is dealing with the inevitable side effects of winter: holes in the concrete from the salt. Tell us about the problem, where you see it, how bad is it.
SAL: Yeah, hi. I guess – the house is only five years old and I started throwing salt – this was last year – on the concrete to melt the ice and now it’s chipping away; it’s flaking off. Do I have to replace the whole thing? Is there something I can put over it?
TOM: Well, it is reparable but first of all let’s deal with the kind of salt that you put down. I suspect you put rock salt down, which is extremely corrosive. There’s another type of salt that’s either potassium chloride or magnesium chloride that’s usually sold under a brand name like Safe-T-Salt or something like that and you want to buy these salts that are safe for concrete; otherwise, you’re going to continue to deteriorate the concrete surfaces next winter.
In terms of repair, you want to look for an epoxy patching compound. The thing is, if you patch it it’s going to look patched. It looks fairly spotted so you’re going to end up patching the holes but then sort of recoating the whole thing with epoxy, so it almost looks like it’s a painted walk. But that’s the only way you can really fix this. You cannot put more concrete on top of this because it won’t actually bind to the old stuff and it’ll chip right off the next winter for sure.
TOM: So be careful about the salt that you choose, OK?
SAL: OK, thank you.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.