How to Restore Your Garage Floor From Winter Damage

The cold winter months can be harsh, not just on you, your car, your house, but even for the floor of your garage. You might have noticed some odd looking stains on the concrete and damage to the floor, which is probably from the de-icing fluids and road salts that are being tracked in if you live in a place that gets snow and icy roads. But don’t worry, you can restore the floor and have it looking as good as new using our tips!


If you are still in the middle of a cold and icy winter, then you might just want to clean the floor and not do a full restoration just yet, since you’ll probably have to deal with salts and de-icing fluids for quite a bit longer and don’t want to have to do the job twice. A lot of dirt, mud, snow, and other things get brought in by the tires of your car so we recommend cleaning the floor occasionally throughout the winter to prevent a build up. But before you break out the hose to rinse it out, keep in mind that if the temperature is below freezing, the water could freeze on the floor of your garage and lead to some serious problems. So here is a tip we know of to get all of the dirt and debris off your floor and you can use something that is probably all around your house at the moment; snow! That’s right, if you have piles of snow lying around outside, put it to good use for a free cleaning product. Put some snow over the floor of your garage, over the places where dirt and salt are collecting and let it sit for a bit but not long enough for it to melt. The snow will pick up everything you want to get rid of and then you can just scoop or brush it out of your garage, leaving behind a clean floor!


But once the season of snow has passed and the weather is getting warmer, you will want to treat your garage floor and restore it back to normal. You are probably noticing ugly white stains on the concrete or possibly even cracking, which is caused by the products that your city uses on the roads during the winter. To de-ice the roads, liquid magnesium and calcium chloride are sprayed on the roads to melt the ice and snow and prevent it from freezing again overnight. And when you drive on these roads, you are bringing back these mixtures and they get to drip off your car and onto your garage floor when you park your car for the night. These de-icers don’t freeze on the surface of your concrete but instead, they seep into the concrete and freeze there when the temperature drops, expanding and breaking apart the concrete mixture. And if the garage floor isn’t cleaned, then it just sits there all winter long, repeating the process and destroying the concrete.


So how do you properly get rid of it? There are a few ways. First, you need to clear away everything in your garage and thoroughly clean it, in order to be able to see every inch of the floor that might contain these chemicals and are showing damage and to get rid of the top layer of debris. Then you can get to fixing the problem. There are products you can buy for these kinds of stains and build ups or some people choose to make their own concoction at home as a DIY project. If you want to try to make your own mixture to remove the salt stains, you can easily look up the ingredients and directions online, which usually will tell you to add warm water, vinegar, and dish soap together and to start scrubbing with a brush.


If your DIY mixture isn’t doing the job, then it is recommended to buy Salt-Away, a popular product for removing salt. You would use it the same way you would the vinegar based solution, by scrubbing the floor and removing the residue with a mop before rinsing so that the salt can’t get back into the pores of the concrete.


Now you need to repair the damage to the concrete. A polymer modified cement is known to work well for patch jobs, since it bonds better than normal cement and creates a stronger finish. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can easily call an expert to come and do it for you. And once you have repaired and patched up the floor, don’t forget to take preventative measures for the next winter, by applying some form of sealer that can block the de-icing fluids from seeping into your concrete the next winter season.
From Precision Door, we hope that you have found this information useful and we look forward to hearing from you for any of your garage door needs! Call today!