How to Remove Efflorescence?: A Guide

how-to-remove-efflorescence

Efflorescence can be a frustrating problem for any homeowner, whether it appears on brick walls, concrete foundations, stucco, or elsewhere. It will reduce curb appeal, making your home look dirty and unattractive. If you’ve found yourself facing a major efflorescence problem, you may have wondered about how to remove efflorescence effectively. If that’s the case, then you’ve come to the right place.

What is Efflorescence?

Efflorescence occurs when moisture in porous building material like brick, concrete, and stucco evaporates out of the material and leaves salt deposits behind. Those salt deposits generally get stuck on the surface of the material, leaving highly unattractive, white or grayish crystals caked on.

Efflorescence can occur for a variety of reasons, including via water trapped within a wall, moisture being pulled up from the soil and into the building material, or rain and snow leaving moisture with a high salt content on and in your brick or concrete.

Can Efflorescence be Prevented?

Yes! Efflorescence can be prevented. If you’re concerned about this problem because of your location, weather, or other risk-factors, you can take steps to mitigate the impact of efflorescence on your home. One of the easiest ways to do this is by applying a sealant that will keep moisture from penetrating the surface of your walls.

Applying a sealant to your concrete or brick is a rather simple project…

First, you’ll want to completely clean the surface of the area you’ll be sealing. Any time you seal a surface, it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s clean because anything that’s left on the surface will be sealed into it once you’ve applied your sealant coats.

Second, you’ll want to apply the sealant with a spray bottle or garden sprayer. Make sure that the coats go on evenly and that you follow the instructions included with the solution. After applying your coat(s), you should let the surface cure as necessary.

Third, you should rinse off the surface of the newly sealed area and dry it.

By doing this, you’ll prevent most efflorescence.

But what should you do if your walls are already caked with this salty substance? What’s the best way to remove efflorescence?

How to Remove Efflorescence?

If you’ve already had an issue with efflorescence, you’ll need to clean it off before you can seal it and prevent further issues. But, you may be wondering how to remove efflorescence. There are several options available to you

1. Remove Efflorescence with a Power Washer. If you own a pressure washer, there’s no easier way to clean any salt deposits off of your bricks or concrete. Under a high-pressure stream of water, all of that efflorescence will quickly be dissolved and eliminated. However, you need to make sure that all of the water you use is completely dried off. Otherwise, it may return the minute the water evaporates.

2. Remove Efflorescence with a Brush. Another easy way to deal with efflorescence is with the help of a stiff-bristle brush. Depending on how thickly the salt is caked on, you may be able to get by with a dry brush. If you’re having a hard time getting it completely clean, simply spray a little clean water onto the surface and scrub away. If you choose to use water, make sure that you dry it off before leaving it. Remember, evaporating water is the reason you ended up with efflorescence in the first place.

3. Remove Efflorescence with Vinegar. Another great way to deal with efflorescence is to use some diluted vinegar. Unlike other cleaning options (such as hydrochloric or phosphoric acid), vinegar isn’t harmful and will still get the job done. Simply dilute some white vinegar, spray it on the effected surface and scrub it off.

And remember, once you’ve gotten your walls looking as good as new, it’s a great idea to seal it so that future outbreaks are limited.

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