Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Results In Ugly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we all answer client questions regarding concrete problems each day. Just about the most frequent, and most perplexing for property owners, is exactly what they ought to do once they find layers of white-colored, flaky residue on their basement walls. This kind of powder is very common on cement surfaces -- specifically in cellars and crawl spaces -- and is often called efflorescence.
What Causes Efflorescence?
Concrete is a porous material -- and it has been since the day it dried up. As a result, it'll accept moisture from the soil outside, steadily releasing some of this moisture into your dwelling. This really is one of the primary reasons that basements are infamously damp, humid spaces.
As this moisture passes through your cement, it brings a small percentage of minerals from the earth outdoors along with it, combined 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 powder that you notice on your wall surfaces today.
Cleaning up Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are many products on the market today that are especially aimed at getting rid of unsightly stains from cement walls and floors. One good way to get rid of efflorescence will be to rent a pressure washer from a local hardware store and to blend it with these kinds of chemicals to successfully blast efflorescence off the concrete.
For a more economical solution, however, you could substitute these custom chemicals using 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 should be able to thoroughly clean off the majority of efflorescence issues.
Phosphoric acid may also be used not only to remove efflorescence powder but also corrosion, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water deposits. However, phosphoric acid, along with other acids, should be used carefully and with great care.
Safeguarding Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your cement floors from efflorescence before an issue arises. Having said that, if you thoroughly clean already affected cement, protection can be applied after.
Our suggested way to avoid 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 cement.
This barrier stops the movement of moisture through the basement walls and flooring surfaces, protecting your cellar from both efflorescence and also the water vapor transmission linked to basement humidity.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, or any other ways, and it dries in 2-4 hrs. It's harmless for indoor use in addition to outdoor use, and may protect your basement in several ways.