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All About Efflorescence

Your client has just completed a brickwork construction or put down some new concrete pavers. After only a few months, they’ve called you out because of a build-up of an unattractive, powdery white substance on the surface of the build. This accumulation is called efflorescence (French for ‘to flower’), and it can be treated with a well-maintained power washer in Chicago, IL.

What is Efflorescence?

Efflorescence is the result of moisture moving through porous brick or concrete material, shifting latent salts to the surface as it evaporates. This powdery substance often appears on newer constructions, but it’s also found in damp basements or weather-facing walls of any age. Efflorescence is not necessarily a sign of low-quality building materials and may be difficult to avoid altogether given the presence of rain, snow, sleet, and humidity.

Is Efflorescence Bad for Brickwork?

Efflorescence itself is generally a harmless, cosmetic condition. It’s unlikely that the salts shifting to the surface pose a damage to your health. However, the presence of efflorescence may be a sign of greater moisture issues. Property owners should consider calling experts out to assess their brickwork, and potentially seeking to apply a permeating hydrophobic sealant.

How to Remove Efflorescence

Depending on the extensiveness and severity of the issue, you may be able to scrub efflorescence off with a sponge and diluted vinegar. When it comes to larger surface areas, especially the sides of buildings, power washing is definitely a more efficient solution. Power washing the affected surface at a low setting should dissolve efflorescence in no time. High PSI carries Efflo Off from SEK Surebond, a concentrated, non-acid cleaner that can assist in removal.

Be mindful that mold may be mistaken for efflorescence, but there are some key ways to tell the difference. Mold will not dissolve in water or turn to a powder when pressed like efflorescence will. Reach out to us today for more information on acquiring a power washer in Chicago, IL or for equipment repairs.

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