Removing & Preventing White Powder on Concrete Basement Walls & Floors

What it is, How It is Caused, & How to Get rid of It

In our line of organization, we come across a great number of home owners who express concern about a white, flaky substance that is appearing on their basement walls or floors. Usually, the homeowner will ask us if the substance is a kind of mold or other fungi, if it's damaging, and if there's anything they can do to get rid of this trouble and prevent future re-occurrence.

What is that White, Flaky Powder on my Concrete?

If the white powder is creating up on your concrete surfaces only, then the substance is most likely not mold. Instead, this powder is a mineral salt that's usually recognized as efflorescence. This builds up on concrete surfaces in basements and in crawl spaces regularly, occurring as part of the process of moisture coming from the earth, passing via the concrete, and evaporating into your basement.

Concrete is porous, and it absorbs moisture a tiny like a sponge. When it really is becoming implemented as part of a basement or crawl space, it soaks up moisture from the earth around it continuously. As it does, the moisture can pass through to the inside surface of the concrete (known as the "unfavorable side"), where it's added to the air inside the creating.

As moisture evaporates into the air, it leaves any mineral deposits carried with it behind, which forms a salt-like coating on the concrete. The ugly white powdery buildup is the efflorescence you see on your basement walls is that mineral salt.

How to Clean Efflorescence

Removing efflorescence is finest carried out with a power washer -- you can obtain a single at a nearby hardware store. Your neighborhood shop will also have a range of chemical substances that you can use in mixture with the washer that will quickly and effectively clean your concrete surfaces.

For a easier system, however, merely combine 1 component bleach with ten parts water. Use a sturdy push broom, and scrub those walls completely.

Phosphoric acid has also been known to be effective against efflorescence. Yet, this should really be implemented with extreme care, and it should really never ever be combined with ammonia products, as these two build a poisonous gas when mixed. Phosphoric acid will have the added benefit of becoming able to eradicate other stains as well, such as those from rust or oil. Be confident to consult with a qualified firsthand ahead of applying this substance.

Stopping Efflorescence

The perfect way to cease efflorescence is to halt the advancement of moisture via the walls and into your home. One terrific way to do so is by sealing the concrete on the inside, and thereby preventing it from making its way through into your property. This has the added benefit of making a that will seal away water vapor that would otherwise contribute to the indoor humidity levels of your basement or crawl space.

When picking a concrete sealer, be confident not to use a concrete coating item. These are notorious for getting pushed off the walls more than time by both the pressure of the moisture and by buildup of efflorescence behind the coating. Instead of these, it is very imperative to obtain a product that will seal the concrete by bonding deep inside its pores, developing a solid barrier that prevents moisture from passing through without having the extended-term blistering, peeling, and flaking linked with waterproof paint and other goods.