Freeze/Thaw is a major problem for concrete.

When water freezes it puts pressure in the pores of the concrete. If the pressure developed exceeds the tensile strength of the concrete, the cavity will dilate and rupture. The accumulative effect of successive freeze-thaw cycles and disruption of paste and aggregate can eventually cause expansion and cracking, scaling, and crumbling of the concrete.

Deicing chemicals for pavements include sodium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride. These chemicals reduce the freezing point of the precipitation as it falls on pavements. A recent trend has seen a wide variety of blends of these materials to improve performance while reducing costs, and best practice indicates that a liberal dosage greater than four percent in solution tends to decrease the potential for scaling of pavement surfaces. The high concentration of deicers reduces the number of freezing and thawing cycle exposures to the pavement by significantly lowering the freezing point.

When water freezes, it expands about 9 percent. As the water in moist concrete freezesfreeze thaw

In summary,  water soaks into your concrete then freezes will cause damage to concrete if it is weak and not strong enough to stand up to the expansion.  This is why we need to protect the concrete from the water penetration.  Pour concrete installation (finishing) can accelerate this problem as well.  Sealing the concrete or adding a protective coating is your best defense !

 

 

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