Have You Tried Efflorescence?- La Jolla Home Inspection
No, it is not a new perfume fragrance! Efflorescence is seen as white, powdery deposits on masonry surfaces such as brick, concrete or stone due to an accumulation of minerals and salts. Any home inspector knows that efflorescence itself is not dangerous, but it does indicate the presence of excessive moisture, which can lead to more serious structural issues.
How Does Efflorescence Form?
Natural salts are present in the raw materials that make up masonry products, such as concrete, asphalt and stucco. These salts remain trapped within masonry in a solid form until they are dissolved by water, which usually makes its way into the material through small pores. Cold, dry air will draw the water back out of the material where it evaporates and deposits the salt as a white crystalline growth on the surface. Efflorescence typically forms during cold, dry weather shortly after it has rained and moisture has entered the masonry. It can occur year-round, but it often forms during the winter due to low temperatures.
What Does Efflorescence Look Like?
The appearance of efflorescence varies greatly. It can be powdery, it can have sharp edges, or it can have indistinct edges. It can be a fine dust or it can form large, individual crystals. It's appearance depends partly on the type of salt from which it is composed. It can be white, yellow or brown in color.
How To Remove Efflorescence
Pressurized water can be used to remove or dissolve efflorescence. Diluted muriatic acid can also be used, although water should be applied first so the acid does not discolor the masonry surface. Following application, baking soda can be used to neutralize the acid and prevent any additional damage to the masonry. Note: If water is used in the removal process, it should be dried quickly to prevent the efflorescence from reappearing.
Have You Tried Efflorescence?- La Jolla Home Inspection: In summary, efflorescence should not be applied to your skin before going out on a date! It is a harmless yet unsightly accumulation of salts on masonry surfaces. It's presence indicates excessive moisture which, if left unchecked, can cause deterioration or shortened life-span of the masonry component. Steve Stenros, a La Jolla home inspector, is the owner of First Choice Inspections and is a CREIA MCI inspector. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection. Appointments can be obtained by calling 888-335-3040.
Steve Stenros, MCI
Master CREIA Inspector #0115
ICC Residential Combination Inspector #5251439
Certified Infrared Thermographer #7791
FHA/HUD Inspector- #V975
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