Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Leads To Ugly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we respond to client questions regarding concrete issues daily. Just about the most common, and most perplexing for home owners, is exactly what they ought to do once they find layers of white-colored, flaky deposits on their cellar walls. This particular powder is very popular on concrete surfaces -- specifically in cellars and crawl spaces -- and it is often known as efflorescence.
What Can Cause Efflorescence?
Cement is a permeable material -- and it has been since the day it dried. As a result, it's going to accept moisture from the ground outdoors, steadily releasing some of this moisture into your home. This is one of the primary reasons that cellars are notoriously moist, humid areas.
As this moisture moves through your concrete, it brings a small percentage of minerals from the earth outside the house along with it, along with the lime in the cement itself. When it evaporates in your cellar, it simply leaves these minerals behind. With time, they create the white, flaky powder that you observe on your walls today.
Cleaning Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are many products currently available which are especially geared towards getting rid of unsightly stains from cement walls and flooring surfaces. One good way to remove efflorescence is to rent a power washer from a nearby hardware store and to combine it with these chemicals to effectively blast efflorescence off the cement.
For a more economical solution, however, you could substitute these custom chemicals with a solution of bleach. Combined with a power washer, pressure washer, or simply by applying with a scrub broom and some work, you should be able to thoroughly clean off the majority of efflorescence problems.
Phosphoric acid could also be used not only to remove efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, stains, and hard water deposits. However, phosphoric acid, as well as other chemicals, should be used carefully and with great care.
Shielding Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we recommend protecting your concrete types of surface from efflorescence before an issue arises. Having said that, if you thoroughly clean already affected concrete, protection can be applied after.
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 floor surfaces to create a glass-like silicate bond in the cement.
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 associated with basement moisture.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, or any other ways, and it dries in 2-4 hrs. It's safe for inside use in addition to outdoor usage, and may protect your basement in many ways.