Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Leads To Unsightly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we answer client questions regarding concrete issues every day. One of the most frequent, and most puzzling for homeowners, is what they should do when they find layers of white-colored, flaky residue on their cellar wall surfaces. This powder is very common on concrete types of surface -- especially in cellars and crawl spaces -- and it is often called efflorescence.
What May Cause Efflorescence?
Cement is a porous material -- and it has been since the day it dried. As a result, it will accept moisture from the dirt outdoors, steadily releasing some of this moisture into your house. This really is most significant reasons that basements are notoriously moist, humid spaces.
As this moisture passes through your cement, it brings a little percentage of minerals from the soil outside the house in conjunction with it, along with the lime in the cement itself. When it evaporates in your basement, it simply leaves these kinds of minerals behind. Over time, they create the white-colored, flaky powder that you observe on your wall surfaces today.
Washing Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products currently available that are exclusively aimed at removing stains from concrete walls and floors. One good way to get rid of efflorescence is to rent a pressure washer from a nearby home improvement store and to combine it with these types of chemicals to successfully blast efflorescence off of the concrete.
For a more economical solution, however, you may substitute these custom made chemicals with 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 thoroughly clean off the majority of efflorescence challenges.
Phosphoric acid could also be used to not only remove efflorescence powder but also rust, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water build up. However, phosphoric acid, along with other acids, should be used cautiously and with great care.
Protecting Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we recommend protecting your cement areas from efflorescence before a problem comes up. However, if you clean already affected cement, protection can be applied afterward.
Our recommended way to stop efflorescence is by sealing your cement walls with a concrete sealer. This product works deep into the pores of your concrete walls and floor surfaces to create a glass-like silicate bond in the concrete.
This barrier puts a stop to the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floors, protecting your basement from both efflorescence and the water vapor transmission linked to basement humidity.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, and also other ways, and it dries out in 2-4 hours. It's safe for indoor use as well as external use, and may protect your basement in many ways.