Facts About Efflorescence
Efflorescence – Wikipedia states: In chemistry, efflorescence is the migration of a salt to the surface of a porous material, where it forms a coating. The essential process involves the dissolving of an internally held salt in water, or occasionally another solvent.
What To Do About Efflorescence
Are you in the market to pay someone to put in a patio or a retaining wall? Or have you chosen to DIY. Or do you have a fireplace made of brick? Efflorescence is going to appear sooner than later. This is a natural occurrence that happens in any cement-based product. Efflorescence is not dangerous to yourself or others. It can; yet, be harmful to your structure or materials if left alone. It may lead to moisture problems over time if unattended.
The salt may be within any porous stone, brick, or paver. It may also be in the grout, or concrete holding your bricks, pavers, or wall together. This happens when the cement or stone gets wet or moist. It is the natural progression that the salt dries and finds its way to the surface. This will cause a white dusty presence on your stone, efflorescence.
If left alone it may go away on its own. After completion of your project, you may want to let it sit for 2 months or so. Let it acclimate to the surroundings. If you continue to see the efflorescence, then you may want to take more action.
How to Prevent Efflorescence
Taking care of building materials during the construction process can help with efflorescence. Bricks or pavers left on the ground may absorb the salts from the ground if it rains or becomes damp. Allow yourself a skid to keep your product on until you are ready to use them.
- Quality Masonry Construction – Minimize rainwater entering the walls. Construct overhangs, eaves, and flashings.
- Capillary breaks – Apply sheeting between building material and soil. This will prevent salt from entering your project from the ground.
- Hydrophobic sealant – Choose to use a sealant to protect your work. This will help to prevent water from penetrating your materials.
How to Remove Efflorescence
Efflorescence is water soluble. There are many options for removing these white stains.
- Power washing – Use a power washer to clean the stones. Be sure to dry off the stones after you are done. Avoiding this process will only promote more salt to show through.
- Vinegar and water – Use vinegar diluted with water. Rub this solution on the affected area and dry it off. This will take care of the problem.
- Efflorescence cleaners – This is more of a harsh chemical but will do the trick. Be sure to read manufacturers instructions.
Contact the Chimney Professionals
Ye Olde Brit Chimney Sweep provides a wide variety of Chimney Services including Inspections, Chimney Cleaning, Chimney Liner Solutions, Chimney Repair, Fireplace Repair and Restoration Services, New Fireplaces and Stoves, and more to the San Bernardino / Palm Springs / Riverside and nearby SoCal Inland Empire Communities towns.
Our trained crews will take care of the cleaning, repairs, and inspections. Put our 30+ years experience in the chimney services business to work for you. Contact Ye Olde Brit Chimney Sweep at (909) 880-2120 or through our online contact form.