What Causes Efflorescence

Sometimes you might have noticed white powdery substance on the exterior of brickwork. This powdery substance is technically known as efflorescence. It is usually appears due to the accumulation of salts and minerals on the surface of masonry work like cemented surfaces, stone work and bricks. Though efflorescence itself is not a problem but you cannot ignore it as it can be considered as the symptom of some problem in the structure of your building as well as your health. In order to get rid of efflorescence it is necessary to know the main causes of its formation.

Formation of efflorescence

The formation of efflorescence is just like the formation of white stains on the brim of the cotton fabric of your hat when it absorbs your sweat while wearing it at high temperature conditions. Human sweat is a kind of salt water that wicks out from the cotton fabric of your hat and leaves behind a layer salt on it.

Similarly all types of masonry materials used in buildings including cement, brick, mortar, stucco and stone has some kind of natural salts in them like calcium chloride and sodium chloride etc. Until these salts are dissolved they remain concealed in these materials. When these materials get water through leakages, sprinklers and rain or from any other source these salts come out of the masonry work through their pores. It happens especially in winters when the within the building drives this moisture outwardly due to expansion in water content. The water content from the external surface of brick work evaporates away with dry and cold air leaving behind the crystalline salt on the surface. So, usually efflorescence occurs in cold and dry weather after drying out most of the masonry work. Though you can find efflorescence on your external walls throughout the year but during winter it becomes more prominent due to low external temperatures.

Recognizing Efflorescence

Efflorescence appears variably as it can be powdery, vague edges or distinctive edgy structures. The large area it covers looks like accumulation of large crystals or fine dust depending upon the type of level of moisture and type of salt present in masonry items. Temperature during winter and local rain fall can also influence the appearance of efflorescence. The salts n the masonry works remain underneath its outer surface during extremely hot and dry season due to quick evaporation of water from the surface but during winters or in humid areas it takes longer time to evaporate water which allows the salts to accumulate on the external surfaces.

Diagnosis of building problems through Efflorescence

Water intrusion in the building can be one of the main problems which can be diagnosed on the basis of efflorescence as it is caused due to leakage of water through the surface of the building. Poor water management by the building is another problem that can be recognized with the help of efflorescence. You can see moderate stains of water on the two front corners of the interior walls.

Thus the efflorescence caused by leakage of water into your building can cause various problems to its structure.


SANI-TRED can remove efflorescence, mold, and mildew at the source

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