Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Leads To Ugly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we all answer client questions about concrete issues each day. Probably the most frequent, and most puzzling for property owners, is what they ought to do once they find layers of white-colored, flaky deposits on their basement wall surfaces. This powder is very common on cement surfaces -- especially in cellars and crawl spaces -- and it is often called efflorescence.
What Causes Efflorescence?
Cement is a porous material -- and it has been since the day it dried. As a result, it will accept moisture from the soil outdoors, gradually releasing some of this moisture into your dwelling. This is most significant reasons that basements are notoriously moist, humid spaces.
As this moisture passes through your concrete, it brings a small percentage of minerals from the earth outside the house along with it, along with the lime in the concrete itself. When it evaporates into your basement, it leaves these minerals behind. Over time, they create the white, flaky dust that you observe on your walls right now.
Washing Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products on the market today which are especially designed for removing stains from cement wall surfaces and flooring surfaces. One good way to get rid of efflorescence will be to rent a pressure washer from a nearby hardware store and to combine it with these kinds of chemicals to effectively blast efflorescence off of 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 broom and some effort, you ought to be competent to thoroughly clean off most efflorescence issues.
Phosphoric acid could also be used to not only remove efflorescence powder but also rust, grime, stains, and hard water deposits. Even so, phosphoric acid, along with other chemicals, should be used carefully and with great care.
Protecting Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we recommend protecting your cement areas from efflorescence before an issue arises. Having said that, if you clean already damaged concrete, protection can be applied after.
Our recommended way to avoid efflorescence is by sealing your cement walls with a cement sealer. The product works deep in the pores of your cement walls and floor surfaces to create a glass-like silicate bond in the cement.
This barrier halts the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floors, protecting your cellar from both efflorescence and the water vapor transmission connected with basement moisture.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, or other ways, and it cures in 2-4 hours. It's harmless for inside use in addition to outdoor use, and can protect your basement in several ways.