Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Leads To Ugly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we answer client questions on concrete issues daily. Just about the most popular, and most perplexing for property owners, is what they should do after they find layers of white-colored, flaky deposits on their basement wall surfaces. This particular powder is very popular on concrete types of surface -- particularly in cellars and crawl spaces -- and it is generally known as efflorescence.
What Causes Efflorescence?
Cement is a porous material -- and it has been since the day it dried. As a result, it's going to take moisture from the dirt outside, steadily releasing some of this moisture into your house. This is most significant reasons that basements are notoriously damp, humid areas.
As this moisture passes through your concrete, it brings a small percentage of minerals from the soil outside along with it, along with the lime in the concrete itself. When it evaporates into your basement, it simply leaves these minerals behind. With time, they create the white, flaky dust that you find on your wall surfaces right now.
Washing Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products currently available which are specifically aimed at getting rid of unsightly stains from cement walls and floors. One good way to remove efflorescence would be to rent a power 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 more economical solution, however, you may substitute these custom chemical substances with a solution of chlorine bleach. Coupled with a power washer, pressure washer, or just by applying with a scrub broom and some hard work, you should be in the position to thoroughly clean off most efflorescence issues.
Phosphoric acid could also be used to not only get rid of efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, stains, and hard water deposits. However, phosphoric acid, as well as other chemicals, should be used cautiously and with great attention.
Protecting Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we recommend protecting your cement surfaces from efflorescence before an issue comes up. However, if you clean already affected cement, protection can be applied after.
Our recommended way to protect against efflorescence is by sealing your cement walls with a concrete sealer. The product works deep into the pores of your cement walls and floors to create a glass-like silicate bond in the concrete.
This barrier puts a stop to the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floors, protecting your basement from both efflorescence and also the water vapor transmission associated with basement humidity.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, or other ways, and it dries in 2-4 hours. It's harmless for indoor use as well as outdoor usage, and can protect your basement in many different ways.