Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Contributes To Unsightly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we respond to customer questions on concrete issues every single day. One of the most common, and most perplexing for homeowners, is what they should do when they find layers of white, flaky residue on their basement walls. This particular powder is very popular on concrete types of surface -- especially in cellars and crawl spaces -- and is called efflorescence.
What Can Cause Efflorescence?
Cement is a porous material -- and it has been since the day it dried up. As a result, it is going to take moisture from the earth outside, slowly releasing some of this moisture into your dwelling. This really is one of the primary reasons that cellars are infamously damp, humid spaces.
As this moisture moves through your concrete, it brings a small portion of minerals from the earth outside the house in conjunction with it, along with the lime in the concrete itself. When it evaporates into your basement, it simply leaves these kinds of 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 which are specifically intended for getting rid of stains from cement walls and flooring. One great way to remove efflorescence is to rent a pressure washer from a nearby hardware store and to combine it with these kinds of chemicals to successfully blast efflorescence off of the concrete.
For a less expensive solution, however, you may substitute these custom made chemical substances using a solution of bleach. Coupled with a power washer, pressure washer, or just by applying with a scrub brush and some effort, you will be in the position to clean off the majority of efflorescence problems.
Phosphoric acid could also be used to not only remove efflorescence powder but also rust, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water deposits. Even so, phosphoric acid, along with other acids, should be used cautiously and with great attention.
Safeguarding Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your concrete floors from efflorescence before an issue develops. However, if you clean already affected cement, protection can be applied after.
Our recommended way to protect against efflorescence is by sealing your concrete walls with a cement sealer. The product works deep into the pores of your cement walls and floor surfaces to create a glass-like silicate bond in the concrete.
This barrier halts the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floors, protecting your cellar from both efflorescence and also the water vapor transmission associated with basement moisture.
Concrete treatments can be applied as a spray, roller, paint brush, and also other ways, and it cures in 2-4 hours. It's safe for inside use in addition to outdoor usage, and may protect your basement in numerous ways.