The Hidden Menace: How Salt Water Damages Concrete and What You Can Do About It

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May 18, 2022

The Silent Assassin: Salt Water

Salt water poses a considerable threat to concrete structures. The presence of chloride ions in salt water facilitates corrosion of steel reinforcements, leading to structural instability. According to the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the salt-induced corrosion is a leading cause of concrete infrastructure failure, especially in coastal regions.

Mechanism of Damage

Salt water penetrates the porous nature of concrete, reaching the internal steel reinforcements. The chloride ions then react with the steel, leading to rusting and eventual corrosion. This process causes the concrete to weaken, leading to cracks, spalling, and in worst-case scenarios, structural failure.

Methods of Fixing the Damage

  1. Concrete Resurfacing: This method involves removing the deteriorated concrete surface and applying a new layer of concrete. It is effective but often a short-term solution.
  2. Epoxy Injections: Filling the cracks with epoxy can seal them and prevent further penetration of salt water. However, it does not address the root cause.
  3. Cathodic Protection: This is a more advanced method where a sacrificial anode is used to attract the corrosive elements, sparing the steel reinforcements.
  4. Concrete Sealing: Special sealants can provide a barrier that prevents salt water penetration. This is effective as a preventive measure.

Cost of Fixing

  1. Concrete Resurfacing: Approx $2–$5 per square foot
  2. Epoxy Injections: Approx $500–$1500 depending on the extent of damage
  3. Cathodic Protection: Initial setup can cost thousands of dollars but is cost-effective in the long run.
  4. Concrete Sealing: Around $0.50–$3 per square foot

How Widespread is the Problem?

According to a report by the National Research Council, billions of dollars are spent annually in the United States alone for the repair of saltwater-corroded structures. Globally, coastal cities and countries with significant marine activities face similar challenges. In Australia, the Concrete Institute of Australia has highlighted salt-induced damage as a significant concern for infrastructure.


Salt water can significantly impact the integrity of concrete structures. Awareness and timely interventions can save billions in repair costs and prevent catastrophic failures. Selecting appropriate repair methods based on the extent of damage is crucial for both effectiveness and cost-efficiency. Euras provides the only all natural solution to completely remove salt from concrete structures without the use of chemicals and displaces and seals the salt permanently from concrete structures.

  1. American Concrete Institute, "Report on Corrosion of Metals in Concrete" (ACI 222R-01)
  2. National Research Council, "Durability of Building Materials and Components"
  3. Concrete Institute of Australia, "Marine Environments and the Deterioration of Concrete"

That wraps up our comprehensive look at how salt water damages concrete and the best ways to combat this widespread issue. Stay tuned for more enlightening articles on construction and maintenance.


Salt Water, Concrete Damage, Chloride Ions, Repair Methods, Cost of Fixing, Widespread Problem

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