Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Contributes To Unsightly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we respond to customer questions regarding concrete problems each day. Probably the most common, and most puzzling for home owners, is exactly what they should do when they find layers of white, flaky deposits on their cellar walls. This particular powder is very popular on cement types of surface -- especially in basements and crawl spaces -- and is often known as efflorescence.
What May Cause Efflorescence?
Concrete is a porous material -- and it has been since the day it dried. Because of this, it'll accept moisture from the earth outside, slowly releasing some of this moisture into your house. This really is one of the primary reasons that cellars are infamously moist, humid spaces.
As this moisture moves through your concrete, it brings a little percentage of minerals from the earth outside the house along with it, combined with the lime in the cement itself. When it evaporates in your cellar, it simply leaves these minerals behind. With time, they create the white-colored, flaky powder that you see on your walls today.
Washing Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products on the market today which are specifically intended for getting rid of unsightly stains from concrete walls and flooring. One great way to remove efflorescence should be to rent a power washer from a local home improvement store and to combine it with these types of chemicals to effectively blast efflorescence off the concrete.
For a more economical solution, however, you could substitute these customized chemicals using a solution of chlorine bleach. Combined with a power washer, pressure washer, or just by applying with a scrub broom and some work, you ought to be able to clean off the majority of efflorescence challenges.
Phosphoric acid could also be used to not only eliminate efflorescence powder but also rust, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water deposits. Even so, phosphoric acid, along with other chemicals, should be used very carefully and with great care.
Safeguarding Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we suggest protecting your concrete floors from efflorescence before a problem arises. However, if you clean already affected cement, protection can be applied afterward.
Our recommended way to prevent efflorescence is by sealing your cement walls with a concrete sealer. This product works deep into the pores of your concrete walls and floors to create a glass-like silicate bond in the concrete.
This barrier prevents the movement of moisture through the basement walls and flooring surfaces, 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, or 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 numerous ways.