Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Contributes To Ugly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we respond to client questions about concrete issues every day. Just about the most popular, and most perplexing for homeowners, is exactly what they should do once they find layers of white, flaky residue on their cellar walls. This particular powder is very common on cement surfaces -- especially in cellars and crawl spaces -- and is called efflorescence.
What Causes Efflorescence?
Concrete is a permeable material -- and it has been since the day it dried up. Because of this, it's going to take moisture from the earth outside, slowly releasing some of this moisture into your home. This is most significant reasons that basements are infamously moist, humid spaces.
As this moisture moves 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 in your basement, it simply leaves these kinds of minerals behind. Over time, they create the white-colored, flaky dust that you see on your walls right now.
Washing Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products currently available which are exclusively designed for removing unsightly stains from cement wall surfaces and floors. One great way to get rid of efflorescence is to rent a pressure washer from a nearby hardware store and to blend it with these chemicals to effectively blast efflorescence off of the cement.
For a more economical solution, however, you may substitute these customized chemical substances with a solution of chlorine bleach. Coupled with a power washer, pressure washer, or simply by applying with a scrub brush and some work, you ought to be able to clean off the majority of efflorescence issues.
Phosphoric acid could also be used to not only remove efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, stains, and hard water deposits. However, phosphoric acid, as well as other acids, must be used very carefully and with great attention.
Protecting Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your concrete types of surface from efflorescence before a problem develops. However, if you thoroughly clean already damaged cement, protection can be applied afterward.
Our recommended way to avoid efflorescence is by sealing your cement walls with a cement sealer. The 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 prevents the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floor surfaces, protecting your cellar from both efflorescence and the water vapor transmission linked to basement humidity.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, and also other ways, and it dries out in 2-4 hours. It's harmless for indoor use as well as outdoor use, and can protect your basement in many ways.