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What is Efflorescence?

Efflorescenceis a crystalline deposit, usually white, that may develop on the surfaces of masonry or concrete construction. Often it appears just after the structure is completed when the owner, the builder, and the architect are most concerned with the appearance of the new structure, Although unattractive, in general, efflorescence is harmless. However, deposits can occur within the surface pores of the material causing expansion that may disrupt the surface.

A combination of circumstances causes efflorescence. First, there must be soluble salts in the material, Second, there must be moisture to pick up the soluble salts and carry them to the surface. Third, evaporation or hydrostatic pressure must cause the solution to move. If any one of these conditions is eliminated, efflorescence will not occur.

All masonry and concrete materials are susceptible to efflorescence. Water soluble salts that appear in chemical analyses as only a few tenths of one percent are sufficient to faults efflorescence when leached out and concentrated at some point on the surface. The amount and character of the deposits vary according to the nature of the soluble materials and the atmospheric conditions. Efflorescence is particularly affected by temperature, humidity, and wind. In the summer, even after long rainy periods, moisture evaporates so quickly that comparatively small amounts of salt are brought to the surface. Usually efflorescence is more common in the winter when a slower rate of evaporation allows migration of salts toe the surface. With the passage of time, efflorescence becomes lighter and less extensive unless there is an external source of salts Light colored surfaces show the deposits much less than darker shades.

Efflorescence producing salts are usually sulfates of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron (ferrous); carbonates of sodium, potassium, and calcium, or sodium bicarbonate or silicate. However, almost any soluble salt that finds its way into the material may appear as efflorescence, consequently chlorides, nitrates, and salts of vanadium, chromium, molybdenum, and others are occasionally found, Chloride salts are highly soluble in water, so the first rain will often wash them off.
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Foundation Repair Expert Phoenix Arizona

James Belville – (602)418-2970
Foundation Repair Expert – Concrete Repairman®
Concrete Repairman LLC – a fully licensed, bonded and insured foundation repair company serving customers in Phoenix and surrounding areas in Arizona. We have over 30 years of experience installing and repairing home foundation cracks, floor crack structural stitching, floor leveling, stem walls, post tension, monolithic and resurfacing foundation damage for homeowner, and commercial clients in Arizona.