Being familiar with Concrete Efflorescence How It Results In Unsightly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we answer client questions on concrete problems daily. Probably the most frequent, and most puzzling for home owners, is exactly what they should do when they find layers of white-colored, flaky deposits on their basement wall surfaces. This particular powder is very common on concrete surfaces -- specifically in basements and crawl spaces -- and it is known as efflorescence.
What Can Cause Efflorescence?
Concrete is a porous material -- and it has been since the day it dried. As a result, it is going to take moisture from the dirt outdoors, slowly releasing some of this moisture into your dwelling. This is one of the primary reasons that basements are infamously moist, humid spaces.
As this moisture passes through your concrete, it brings a small percentage of minerals from the earth outside along with it, combined with the lime in the concrete itself. When it evaporates into your basement, it leaves these minerals behind. With time, they create the white, flaky dust that you find on your walls today.
Cleaning up Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products currently available that are specifically designed for getting rid of unsightly stains from concrete wall surfaces and flooring. One good way to remove efflorescence is usually to rent a power washer from a nearby home improvement store and to blend it with these chemicals to effectively blast efflorescence away from the cement.
For a less expensive solution, however, you may substitute these custom made chemical substances with a solution of bleach. Combined with a power washer, pressure washer, or just by applying with a scrub brush and some effort, you should be competent to clean off most efflorescence problems.
Phosphoric acid can also be used not only to eliminate efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, stains, and hard water build up. Even so, phosphoric acid, along with other chemicals, should be used carefully and with great care.
Protecting Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we recommend protecting your concrete floors from efflorescence before a problem develops. However, if you thoroughly clean already damaged cement, protection can be applied after.
Our suggested way to stop efflorescence is by sealing your cement 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 concrete.
This barrier stops the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floors, protecting your basement 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 cures in 2-4 hrs. It is harmless for indoor use in addition to outdoor usage, and may protect your basement in many different ways.