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The Effects of Road Salt on a Parking Garage and How To Prevent Damage

As winter blankets our streets with snow and ice, road salt becomes a common sight. While it’s essential for safety on the roads, road salt can pose a significant threat to your parking garage. The corrosive nature of salt can lead to damage to concrete surfaces, steel structures, and even vehicles. In this blog post, we’ll explore the impact of winter road salt and the importance of parking garage cleaning and maintenance to protect your investment.

Image of a snow covered parking garage

How Road Salt Gets into a Parking Garage

Road salt, often used to melt ice and snow on roadways, can find its way into your parking garage in several ways:

  1. Vehicles: Salt residue from the streets can be carried into the garage by vehicles’ tires.
  2. Foot Traffic: Pedestrians may track in salt from outside.
  3. Snow Melt: As snow accumulates on vehicles and then melts inside the garage, it releases salt.
  4. Stormwater Runoff: Salt-laden water from the streets can infiltrate your garage.

Corrosion and Damage

Salt is corrosive to concrete and steel, the primary materials in parking garages. When it comes into contact with these surfaces, it can lead to:

  • Concrete Erosion: Salt can degrade the concrete over time, causing cracks, spalling, and deterioration.
  • Steel Corrosion: Salt accelerates the corrosion of steel components, including support beams and rebar, weakening the structure.
  • Vehicle Damage: Salt can corrode vehicle components, including frames and undercarriages.

Parking Garage Cleaning and Maintenance

Protecting your parking garage from the damaging effects of winter road salt requires proactive cleaning and maintenance:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Implement a routine cleaning schedule to remove salt residue and prevent its accumulation. Power washing can effectively clean surfaces and eliminate salt buildup.
  2. Sealing and Coating: Applying concrete sealers and protective coatings can create a barrier between the salt and your garage’s surfaces, reducing the risk of damage.
  3. Repairs: Promptly address any visible damage, such as cracks or corroded steel, to prevent further deterioration.
  4. Drainage Management: Ensure that your garage’s drainage system is functioning correctly to redirect salt-laden water away from vulnerable areas.
  5. Snow Removal: Clear snow and ice from your garage promptly to minimize salt entry.

Invest in Professional Parking Garage Cleaning

While it’s possible to conduct some cleaning and maintenance tasks in-house, consider the benefits of professional parking garage cleaning and maintenance services. Professionals have the expertise, equipment, and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions needed to thoroughly remove salt residue and protect your garage from winter’s hidden threat.


Winter road salt is a necessary evil for maintaining safe roadways during winter, but it can wreak havoc on your parking garage. By understanding the impact of salt and implementing proactive cleaning and maintenance measures, you can protect your investment and extend the lifespan of your parking structure. Don’t let winter road salt take a toll on your garage; invest in professional cleaning and maintenance to ensure it remains in top condition.

Is your parking garage in need of winter road salt cleaning and maintenance? Contact OFF THE WALL today for professional services that will safeguard your investment.

Keeping New England Clean Since 1985
Power washing company serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island

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