Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Contributes To Ugly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we respond to client questions on concrete problems on a daily basis. Just about the most popular, and most perplexing for property owners, is what they should do once they find layers of white-colored, flaky residue on their basement wall surfaces. This powder is very popular on cement types of surface -- specifically in cellars and crawl spaces -- and it is generally known as efflorescence.
What Can Cause Efflorescence?
Concrete is a porous material -- and it has been since the day it dried. As a result, it'll accept moisture from the ground outside, progressively releasing some of this moisture into your house. This really is one of the primary reasons that cellars are notoriously moist, humid areas.
As this moisture passes through your concrete, it brings a little percentage of minerals from the earth outside in conjunction with it, combined with the lime in the concrete itself. When it evaporates in your cellar, it simply leaves these kinds of minerals behind. Over time, they create the white, flaky dust that you notice on your walls right now.
Cleaning up Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are many products currently available which are specifically geared towards getting rid of stains from cement walls and floors. One great way to get rid of efflorescence is to rent a pressure washer from a local home improvement store and to combine it with these chemicals to successfully blast efflorescence off of the concrete.
For a less expensive solution, however, you may substitute these custom made chemical substances using a solution of chlorine bleach. Combined with a power washer, pressure washer, or just by applying with a scrub brush and some work, you will be able to clean off most efflorescence issues.
Phosphoric acid can also be used to not only get rid of efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water build up. However, phosphoric acid, along with other chemicals, should be used very carefully and with great care.
Shielding Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your cement surfaces from efflorescence before a problem comes up. However, if you clean already affected cement, protection can be applied after.
Our recommended way to stop efflorescence is by sealing your concrete walls with a concrete sealer. The product works deep in the pores of your concrete walls and floor surfaces to create a glass-like silicate bond in the cement.
This barrier puts a stop to the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floor surfaces, protecting your basement from both efflorescence and the water vapor transmission associated with basement moisture.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, and also other ways, and it dries in 2-4 hours. It's safe for indoor use as well as external use, and may protect your basement in numerous ways.