Understanding Concrete Efflorescence How It Leads To Ugly Foundation Walls
At Permaseal, we all respond to customer questions regarding concrete problems on a daily basis. Probably the most frequent, and most perplexing for homeowners, is exactly what they should do once they find layers of white-colored, flaky residue on their basement walls. This particular powder is very common on cement surfaces -- specifically in cellars and crawl spaces -- and it is referred to as efflorescence.
What Can Cause Efflorescence?
Cement is a permeable material -- and it has been since the day it dried. As a result, it's going to accept moisture from the earth outside, progressively releasing some of this moisture into your house. This is one of the primary reasons that basements are notoriously damp, humid areas.
As this moisture moves through your cement, it brings a small percentage of minerals from the soil outdoors along with it, along with the lime in the concrete itself. When it evaporates into your cellar, it leaves these minerals behind. Over time, they create the white-colored, flaky dust that you notice on your wall surfaces right now.
Cleaning Efflorescence from Basement Walls
There are several products on the market today that are especially designed for removing unsightly stains from cement wall surfaces and floors. One good way to remove efflorescence will be to rent a power washer from a local home improvement store and to combine it with these types of chemicals to successfully blast efflorescence off of the cement.
For a less expensive solution, however, you could substitute these custom made chemical substances with a solution of chlorine bleach. Combined with a power washer, pressure washer, or simply by applying with a scrub brush and some hard work, you ought to be able to clean off most efflorescence challenges.
Phosphoric acid may also be used not only to eliminate efflorescence powder but also rust, grime, unsightly stains, and hard water build up. However, phosphoric acid, along with other acids, must be used very carefully and with great attention.
Safeguarding Your Basement from Efflorescence
At Permaseal, we recommend protecting your concrete areas from efflorescence before an issue arises. However, if you thoroughly clean already affected cement, protection can be applied afterward.
Our encouraged way to stop efflorescence is by sealing your concrete walls with a concrete sealer. The product works deep into the pores of your concrete walls and flooring to create a glass-like silicate bond in the cement.
This barrier halts the movement of moisture through the basement walls and floors, protecting your cellar from both efflorescence and the water vapor transmission linked to 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 can protect your basement in several ways.