Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Leads To Ugly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we respond to client queries about concrete issues each day. One of the most frequent, and most puzzling for property owners, is exactly what they should do once they find layers of white-colored, flaky deposits on their basement wall surfaces. This powder is very common on concrete surfaces -- specifically in basements and crawl spaces -- and it is called efflorescence.
What Can Cause Efflorescence?
Concrete is a permeable material -- and it has been since the day it dried up. For this reason, it is going to take moisture from the soil outside, gradually releasing some of this moisture into your home. This really is one of the primary reasons that cellars are notoriously moist, humid spaces.
As this moisture passes through your concrete, it brings a small portion 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 types of minerals behind. Over time, they create the white, flaky dust that you observe on your wall surfaces today.
Cleaning Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products currently available that are especially designed for removing unsightly stains from cement wall surfaces and flooring. One great way to remove efflorescence is to rent a pressure washer from a local home improvement store and to combine it with these types of chemicals to successfully blast efflorescence off of the concrete.
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 hard work, you ought to be competent to clean off the majority of efflorescence problems.
Phosphoric acid may also be used to not only remove efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water deposits. However, phosphoric acid, as well as other acids, must be used carefully and with great care.
Safeguarding Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your concrete floors from efflorescence before an issue develops. However, if you clean already damaged cement, protection can be applied afterward.
Our recommended 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 floor surfaces to create a glass-like silicate bond in the concrete.
This barrier stops the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floor surfaces, protecting your basement from both efflorescence and also 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 in 2-4 hours. It is harmless for indoor use as well as external use, and may protect your basement in a number of ways.