Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Results In Unsightly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we answer customer questions regarding concrete issues every single day. Probably the most common, and most perplexing for homeowners, is what they should do when they find layers of white, flaky deposits on their cellar wall surfaces. This powder is very common on cement surfaces -- specifically in cellars and crawl spaces -- and is generally known as efflorescence.
What May Cause Efflorescence?
Cement is a permeable material -- and it has been since the day it dried. Because of this, it's going to take moisture from the soil outdoors, gradually releasing some of this moisture into your home. This really is one of the primary reasons that basements are notoriously damp, humid areas.
As this moisture passes through your cement, it brings a little portion of minerals from the earth outdoors along with it, combined with the lime in the concrete itself. When it evaporates into your cellar, it leaves these kinds of minerals behind. Over time, they create the white, flaky dust that you see on your walls right now.
Washing Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products currently available that are specifically geared towards removing stains from concrete walls and flooring surfaces. One good way to get rid of efflorescence should be to rent a power 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 chlorine bleach. Combined with a power washer, pressure washer, or simply by applying with a scrub broom and some hard work, you should be in the position to clean off most efflorescence challenges.
Phosphoric acid may also be used not only to eliminate efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water deposits. Even so, phosphoric acid, as well as other acids, must be used very carefully and with great care.
Protecting Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your cement areas from efflorescence before a problem develops. However, if you thoroughly clean already affected concrete, protection can be applied afterward.
Our suggested way to avoid efflorescence is by sealing your concrete walls with a cement sealer. This product works deep into the pores of your concrete walls and floors to create a glass-like silicate bond in the cement.
This barrier stops the movement of moisture through the basement walls and flooring surfaces, protecting your cellar from both efflorescence and also the water vapor transmission linked to basement moisture.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, or other ways, and it dries out in 2-4 hrs. It is safe for inside use as well as outdoor use, and can protect your basement in numerous ways.