Q&A / 

Efflorescence Tips and Tricks Video

Hello, I'm Tim Carter and I want to talk a little about efflorescence. This is a common occurrence in some homes, but some people are confused about it.

Efflorescence are salt deposits that form on brick surfaces, stone walls or concrete. It forms on anything masonry. What happens is there are salts in the mortar, brick or stone. When the salts get wet, they go into solution and dissolve. Similar to sugar dissolving in your morning coffee.

When the water comes to the surface of the masonry object, the water will evaporate, but the salts are left behind. Those are the white deposits you see on my garage floor.

The reason it is happening in my garage is because my truck, in the winter time after running through the snow, the road salt melts off the truck and onto the garage floor. The salt water pond will dry up, leaving the salt behind. Some of the salts gets into the cracks in the concrete floor. When water gets into the cracks, the salts are brought back up and left on the floor.

These deposits are very fluffy and can be easily swept away with a push broom. The worst thing you can to try to get rid of the efflorescence is to use water. This will deposit the salts back into the water, then the water goes back down the concrete floor cracks and will reappear another day.

Just brush the deposits away. Eventually the salts will be depleted from the masonry and the efflorescence will quit. However on retaining walls, the soil behind the wall might be the source of the salt. If it is, the efflorescence will continue to appear. To avoid this, you have to waterproof the back of the retaining wall when building it. Use some type of asphalt solution so water can't get into the wall in the first place.

So that's what efflorescence is and how to deal with it. Just brush it away. It is harmless to the masonry surface.


6 Responses to Efflorescence Tips and Tricks Video

  1. Tim,
    Thanks for the efflorescence info. I have some on my garage floor and was wondering what to do about it and what caused it.

  2. Well, this was obvious, long and drawn out until the last 15 sec. Good poop on external sealer.

    BTW: Your form here is formatted funny (at least in Chrome).

    Love Ya, Take Care.

  3. Hi Tim,
    I have that in my Cape Cod cellar on the concrete blocks. I never knew what it was but was told it wasn't any type of mold, etc. It's below dirt level and was here when I moved in 14 years ago. I can't afford to have it dug out, water proofed, then replace the dirt again outside. I guess I just have to deal with it and keep cleaning it off; which I know it will just keep coming back. Unless you have any ideas...
    Thank you!

  4. Thanks Tim,
    I've had it on my poured concrete basement floor and cinder block walls since we bought the house over 25 years ago.
    I read some where that it was salt created just like you told us, but was hoping for some kind of sealer/paint that could be applied to lessen its appearance?
    P.S. got over 8 inches of snow here in Maine.

  5. Good Morning Tim:
    Thank you for the information, I have been wondering about this on my new chimney.
    Another mystery solved

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