Efflorescence is the stubborn problem that has caused bewilderment and trouble for masonry since the first time it appeared thousands of years ago on ancient masonry walls. Efflorescence is normally the white, powdery scum that can appears on masonry walls after construction but can also be brown green or yellow, depending on the type of salts. Nobody likes it, nobody wants it on their walls, but occasionally this persistent problem appears.
Great deal of effort, time, and money has been spent trying to solve the difficulties efflorescence creates. Many test programs have been developed and numerous attempts have been made to eliminate the efflorescence problem. Unfortunately, nothing has proven 100% effective against this very obstinate problem. However, even though no certain cure has been developed, a tremendous effort has been learned about how efflorescence works and ways to prevent and remove it.
Efflorescence is a type of discoloration. It is a deposit, usually white in color that occasionally develops on the surface of concrete, often just after a structure is completed. Although unattractive, efflorescence is usually harmless. In rare cases excessive efflorescence, within the pores of the material, can cause expansion that may disrupt the surface.
The formation of these salt deposits is not a mystery. They are, for the most part, water-soluble salts that come from many possible sources to mar and destroy a beautiful and serviceable masonry structure. Efflorescence is caused by a combination of circumstances: soluble salts in the material, moisture to dissolve the salts, and vapor transmission or hydrostatic pressure that moves the solution toward the surface. Water in moist, hardened concrete dissolves soluble salts. This salt-water solution migrates to the surface by vapor transmission or hydraulic pressure where the water evaporates, leaving the salt deposit at the surface. Particularly temperature, humidity and wind affect efflorescence. In the summer, even after long periods of rain, moisture evaporates so quickly that comparatively small amounts of salt are brought to the surface.
How do we then resolve these tarnishing deposits? The following tips to prevent their occurrence may be helpful.
In cases wherein, deposits have already become visible, then appropriate interventions may be instituted to remove them and ensure that no other result is left unaided. Here are some valuable tips to think about when planning to remove the stains.
Efflorescence is a fairly controllable condition. Although efflorescence sounds and seems good, its effects to masonry are always detrimental. Breaking the factors necessary for the development of efflorescence can be done with good planning, correct supplies materials and quality construction.