Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Contributes To Unsightly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we answer customer questions about concrete problems each day. Just about the most frequent, and most puzzling for home owners, is what they ought to do after they find layers of white-colored, flaky residue on their cellar walls. This kind of powder is very common on concrete types of surface -- particularly in cellars and crawl spaces -- and is generally known as 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 soil outdoors, progressively releasing some of this moisture into your dwelling. This is one of the primary reasons that basements are infamously moist, humid areas.
As this moisture moves through your cement, it brings a small percentage of minerals from the earth outdoors in conjunction with it, combined with the lime in the cement itself. When it evaporates into your cellar, it leaves these types of minerals behind. Over time, they create the white, flaky powder that you notice on your walls today.
Cleaning up Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are many products on the market today that are specifically geared towards removing stains from concrete walls and flooring surfaces. One good way to get rid of efflorescence is usually to rent a pressure washer from a nearby home improvement store and to blend it with these types of chemicals to successfully blast efflorescence off of the cement.
For a more economical solution, however, you may substitute these custom chemicals with a solution of chlorine bleach. Combined with a power washer, pressure washer, or just by applying with a scrub brush and some hard work, you ought to be able to thoroughly clean off the majority of efflorescence problems.
Phosphoric acid can also be used not only to get rid of efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, stains, and hard water build up. However, phosphoric acid, along with other acids, must be used carefully and with great care.
Safeguarding Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your cement surfaces from efflorescence before an issue comes up. However, if you clean already affected cement, protection can be applied afterward.
Our recommended way to stop efflorescence is by sealing your concrete walls with a cement sealer. The product works deep into the pores of your concrete walls and floors to create a glass-like silicate bond in the concrete.
This barrier stops the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floor surfaces, protecting your cellar from both efflorescence and the water vapor transmission linked to 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 lot of ways.