The word efflorescence may be unfamiliar to you but most home and building owners have actually experienced its presence! Efflorescence is a crystalline salt deposit that appears on porous building surfaces like brick and other stone. Not only is it unappealing, but its presence could also indicate even more serious problems, making efflorescence removal services extremely important.
A Deeper Look at Efflorescence
The presence of efflorescence begins with salt. Salts can be found in the ground and in various construction materials like brick, cement, mortar, lime, clay, sand, admixtures, and backing materials.
Typically efflorescence is white but can also be yellow and brown depending on the salt and chemicals around. Some of the most common salts that can be found include calcium carbonate, manganese oxide, sodium carbonate, and potassium carbonate. The second ingredient needed for efflorescence to appear is water.
This water can be found during construction as it is being mixed with building materials and can also come from sprinkler systems, snow, rain, and even the ground. This water will dissolve the salt and then move it to the surface of brick walls and cement foundations. So as the water evaporates, the salt is then left behind creating efflorescence. Because it occurs naturally it can be extremely difficult to prevent, however it is important that you look into the efflorescence removal process if it does begin to appear.
It is also important to note that just the presence of these salts and water does not mean efflorescence will always appear. There are three factors that have to be in play.
- The first is that water soluble salts have to be present
- The second is moisture has to be available in order to turn the salt into a soluble solution
- And the third is that the salt has to be able to move through a material to the surface. Once that happens the moisture will begin to evaporate causing the salts to crystallize and creating efflorescence.
If you are in the process of building a new building it is important to know that efflorescence can occur during the construction property too. If bricks or other materials are left on the ground overnight they can absorb moisture from the ground. Thus making it extremely important to know the different scenarios that will result in needing efflorescence removal services during construction. Some of these problems include:
How to Prevent Efflorescence
The best way to tackle efflorescence head on is by working to prevent it from ever occurring. This will not only help you save money in the future but also time! When it comes to preventing efflorescence on new construction projects you have to choose your materials wisely. Here are some other tips and tricks to help prevent efflorescence.
Efflorescence Removal Services
When it comes to efflorescence removal there are a few different methods that can be used. First, it is important to know the length of time that the white powdery substance has been on the surface of your building. If it is fresh then you may be able to simply wash the area by wet scrubbing the surface- depending on the material.
However, if it has been present for a while and the efflorescence has become insoluble it is much harder to remove. Here are some ways that you can work to remove efflorescence from your building:
A Stiff Brush
On certain surfaces, you may be able to use a stiff brush to remove the efflorescence from your building. A stiff brush is a strong scrub brush that has thick bristles designed to handle tough buildup and debris. Because of this, a stiff brush can easily sweep away the dry and powdery efflorescence.
If the salt deposits are extremely tough and have been present for a long period of time then you may need chemical cleaning. However, this method is impure, unpredictable in strength and often labor intensive.
The most effective way to remove efflorescence is with pressure washing. Our team at Shane’s Pristine Power Wash has tons of experience when it comes to efflorescence removal. We make sure to clean your surface without damaging it and work to prevent the salt build up from reoccurring.