Masonry and concrete industries have been battling with the scourge of the white stuff for centuries. It’s known as Efflorescence, and it’s been around ever since concrete was first used to build homes around 6500BC in Jordan and Syria. China used a form of concrete to construct the ancient Great Wall of China. Incredibly, a key component of their concrete was sticky, glutenous rice. But, of course, concrete has changed a lot since then, and it’s still evolving. So, what is efflorescence, and how can you remove it?
Making Sense of Efflorescence
Efflorescence is a natural and sometimes unavoidable salt-based by-product of the concrete manufacturing process. It occurs when three main conditions conspire together. Firstly, there are water-solution salts present in the material. Next, the wall or pavers contain sufficient moisture to change the salts into a solution. Lastly, the water migrates to the material’s surface, and evaporation occurs, leaving behind the unsightly white powder or salt. All of these conditions must be possible to achieve efflorescence which is why it doesn’t always happen. However, these deposits usually occur at the worst times, such as a month or so after construction is completed.
How To Get Rid of Efflorescence?
White salt deposits are common on pavers and retaining walls because they’re usually connected to damp soil. The more porous the material is, the more they tend to draw moisture in. So, once it starts, it’s best to get on top of it before it spreads. Several efflorescence removal chemicals are on the market, but you may not need to go that far. Indeed, the most straightforward treatment is pressurised water. However, the problem here is that it can return if the water doesn’t dry off quickly. So, choose a dry, sunny day to wield the Karcher. Alternatively, try brushing the salt away with a stiff yard broom.