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Efflorescence, what is it? Is it a problem?

Efflorescence is a common issue on brick or concrete block structures in Central Alabama. What causes efflorescence and is this an indication of a problem?

Efflorescence is a crystalline, powdery deposit that forms on the surface of masonry, concrete, stucco, or other materials containing soluble salts. These salts are typically deposited on the surface when water migrates through the material, carrying the salts with it. When the water evaporates, the salts are left behind, forming efflorescence.

Efflorescence, is this a problem
Efflorescence on brick wall

Efflorescence itself is not a problem in terms of structural integrity, but it can be unsightly and may indicate underlying issues such as water penetration or excessive moisture within the material. In some cases, efflorescence can also cause discoloration or damage to the surface it forms on.

To address efflorescence, it's important to identify and rectify the underlying cause, such as inadequate drainage, water leaks, or improper construction techniques. Once the cause is addressed, efflorescence can often be removed using various cleaning techniques, such as brushing, power washing, or chemical treatments. However, it may reappear if the underlying issue is not resolved.

Efflorescence. What does it mean?
Efflorescence - close up


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