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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What is Efflorescence, and is it harmful?

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

According to The Masonry Institute of America, Efflorescence is the white chalky powder that you might find on the surface of a concrete or brick wall. It can be a cosmetic issue, or it can be an indication of moisture intrusion that could lead to major structural and indoor air quality issues. Efflorescence (which means "to flower out" in French) is the dissolved salts deposited on the surface of a porous material hat are visible after the evaporation of the water.  

Porous materials like brick, stone, concrete, and wood have the ability to wick up water.  If the water that contains salt, once the water evaporates from the building materials it leaves behind efflorescence.  

Efflorescence can often be confused with mold. However, not to worry, this is not something that is toxic or harmful.  

The best way to remove efflorescence, is by acid washing the area.  After the wash is complete, neutralize the area with baking soda.  You want to make sure to neutralize the area because acid residue can be harmful to plants and animals.  

If you have efflorescence that you would like to have looked at, and cleaned up we are here to help.  Give us a call at 708-240-4873. 

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