Chemist’s Corner – Road Salt 101

Chemist’s Corner – Road Salt 101

Let’s Talk About Road Salt

Believe it or not, road salt is both a friend and a foe. Yes, it is true that it keeps our roads safer in the winter. Yes, it helps melt ice to prevent slippage. However, what many don’t know is that road salt is one of your car paint’s biggest nemesis. Over time, kicking up road salt from your tires onto your paint causes the paint to more or less melt off. You might ask: how is that even possible? How can salt of all things be wrecking my paint job? Well, it’s a matter of the chemistry, and our head chemist Steve Johnson has the answer.

“What salt does at a chemical level is accelerate the rusting process. Naturally, any iron or fastener exposed will rust over time. Road salt allows electrons to float freely and that’s where the process really happens,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, all it takes is one small opening.

“Even the smallest paint damage or micro scratch can be the start of corrosion. Once it starts, there’s really no good way to stop it from spreading. If the nick goes all the way down the iron, salt can get in and begin to do damage. Often times said damage is irreversible. Not to mention tires, which have exposed metal anyways. Tires get so many rocks and chips over the course of time.”

So now that we understand the problem, what’s the solution? We’ve got the best answer: DuraSlic! You might ask: how is DuraSlic the difference maker? We’ve got that answer as well.

“Getting your car coated is a great preventive measure, as always. The key is to not allow your paint to get exposed to road salt. Same with your tires. Obviously it’s not realistic to avoid road salt entirely in the winter time. It spreads fairly quickly and can do some real damage.”

“It’s not the paint itself that suffers from being exposed to road salt. It’s when the salt gets down to the base metal of the car. What happens is the salt corrodes the base metal and is then able to lift the car paint out from underneath. Creating a barrier between the surface and salt is key.”

Many outlets on the internet would point you to getting your car waxed, which would prevent against road salt for a few months. You could do that, or you could get a ceramic coating. If you didn’t know by now, DuraSlic’s ceramic coating lasts up to seven years with proper care. That’ll make road salt nothing more than a footnote!