Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Results In Unsightly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we all answer client questions about concrete problems every day. Just about the most popular, and most puzzling for property owners, is exactly what they should do once they find layers of white, flaky residue on their basement wall surfaces. This particular powder is very popular on concrete surfaces -- specifically in cellars and crawl spaces -- and is generally known as efflorescence.
What Can Cause Efflorescence?
Cement is a porous material -- and it has been since the day it dried up. For this reason, it'll accept moisture from the ground outdoors, progressively releasing some of this moisture into your house. This is one of the primary reasons that basements are infamously damp, humid spaces.
As this moisture moves through your cement, it brings a little percentage of minerals from the soil outdoors along with it, combined with the lime in the cement itself. When it evaporates into your basement, it simply leaves these types of minerals behind. Over time, they create the white-colored, flaky powder that you observe on your wall surfaces today.
Cleaning up Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are many products currently available which are specifically intended for getting rid of stains from cement wall surfaces and floors. One good way to remove efflorescence should be to rent a pressure washer from a local home improvement store and to blend it with these types of chemicals to effectively blast efflorescence off the cement.
For a less expensive solution, however, you could substitute these custom chemical substances using a solution of chlorine bleach. Combined with a power washer, pressure washer, or simply by applying with a scrub brush and some effort, you should be in the position to thoroughly clean off most efflorescence issues.
Phosphoric acid could also be used not only to remove efflorescence powder but also rust, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water build up. Even so, phosphoric acid, along with other chemicals, should be used cautiously and with great care.
Protecting Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your cement types of surface from efflorescence before a problem develops. However, if you thoroughly clean already affected cement, protection can be applied afterward.
Our suggested way to stop efflorescence is by sealing your concrete walls with a cement sealer. This product works deep into the pores of your concrete walls and flooring to create a glass-like silicate bond in the cement.
This barrier halts the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floor surfaces, protecting your basement from both efflorescence and also the water vapor transmission associated with basement moisture.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, or any other ways, and it dries out in 2-4 hrs. It is safe for inside use as well as external use, and may protect your basement in numerous ways.