Concrete becomes damaged from de-icing salts that are applied during the winter season. Exterior concrete must be kept clear of snow and ice for safety reasons – we understand that. However, there is no such thing as "safe for concrete" de-icing salts or chemicals.
The first winter, for new concrete, salt should never be used. Sand can be used to increase traction when needed. After the first winter, if you choose to take the risk to use de-icing salts or chemicals, you should apply a sealer to your concrete in the fall. The sealer helps prevent the water and salt from entering the pores of the concrete. Be sure to use as little salt as possible, sweep the slush and salt off the concrete as soon as possible, and rinse the concrete when you are able in the spring.
If I can't use salt... what should I do?
Clear the snow immediately before it gets walked on or driven on and becomes hard packed. Apply sand. Bags of sand can be purchased at Menards, Home Depot, or Lowes. Most other hardware or landscape supply stores will have it as well.