Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Contributes To Ugly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we answer client questions regarding concrete issues daily. Probably the most frequent, and most puzzling for home owners, is exactly what they should do once they find layers of white, flaky residue on their cellar walls. This powder is very popular on concrete surfaces -- particularly in basements and crawl spaces -- and it is known as efflorescence.
What Causes Efflorescence?
Concrete is a permeable material -- and it has been since the day it dried. Because of this, it'll take moisture from the dirt outside, slowly releasing some of this moisture into your house. This really is most significant reasons that basements are notoriously damp, humid spaces.
As this moisture moves through your cement, it brings a small percentage of minerals from the soil outdoors in conjunction with it, along with the lime in the cement itself. When it evaporates into your basement, it leaves these minerals behind. With time, they create the white, flaky powder that you notice on your walls today.
Cleaning up Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products currently available which are specifically aimed at getting rid of unsightly stains from cement wall surfaces and flooring surfaces. One great way to get rid of efflorescence should be to rent a power washer from a local hardware store and to combine it with these chemicals to effectively blast efflorescence off the concrete.
For a less expensive solution, however, you could substitute these custom chemicals using a solution of bleach. Coupled with a power washer, pressure washer, or simply by applying with a scrub brush and some work, you should be competent to clean off most efflorescence challenges.
Phosphoric acid could also be used to not only eliminate efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water deposits. However, phosphoric acid, as well as other chemicals, should be used very carefully and with great care.
Shielding Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your cement types of surface from efflorescence before a problem arises. However, if you thoroughly clean already affected cement, protection can be applied afterward.
Our recommended way to avoid efflorescence is by sealing your cement walls with a cement sealer. The product works deep into the pores of your cement walls and floor surfaces to create a glass-like silicate bond in the concrete.
This barrier halts the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floors, protecting your cellar from both efflorescence and also the water vapor transmission associated with basement humidity.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, or other ways, and it dries in 2-4 hours. It is safe for inside use in addition to outdoor use, and may protect your basement in a number of ways.