Salt and Masonry don’t mix.
Low salt diet recommended. Not unique to Toronto, salt is still the method of choice for ice melting and keeping our roads safe in the winter. Despite environmental concerns, it is used because it works very well. Salt can cause reactions in masonry products causing them to break down. The outside of this garage wall tells a story of 60 years of salt exposure and freeze-thaw activity. Originating from inside the garage where the salt-slush mix falls off the car on to the concrete floor slab and then runs against the wall, the reaction has travelled through a double wythe masonry wall, about 8 inches thick and the erosion is visible on the outer surface. The mortar on the surface is from previous repair efforts. This is a structural wall, so one day it will fail if the salt and water exposure continues.