Deterioration of concrete from freeze thaw actions may occur when the concrete is critically saturated, which is when approximately 91% of its pores are filled with water. When water freezes to ice it occupies 9% more volume than that of water. If there is no space for this volume expansion in a porous, water containing material like concrete, freezing may cause distress in the concrete. Distress to critically saturated concrete from freezing and thawing will commence with the first freeze-thaw cycle and will continue throughout successive winter seasons resulting in repeated loss of concrete surface.
To protect against freeze – thaw cycle your best defence is to keep the moisture from entering the concrete in the first place. Sealing the concrete with a deep penetrating sealer to prevent damage is recommended. Remember this is a maintenance coating and will need to be applied when protected surface wears over time.
Tip: The best way to treat your ice build up is to use a mixture of sand and cat litter.. not ice melt!