Efflorescence may not be a term that you are familiar with, however, it is likely something you have seen before. The term efflorescence refers to the white stains and deposits that can frequently be found on brickwork, paving, concrete and masonry work.
So what causes efflorescence?
There are three types of efflorescence on masonry work each caused by the presence of water moving through capillaries within masonry.
- Lime Bloom
Lime bloom has a superficial effect on masonry work. It appears as a white thin sections on the masonry as the result of water traveling through masonry. Fortunately this type of efflorescence typically disappears when exposed to weathering.
- Lime Weeping
Lime weeping does not affect the durability of a structure, however, unlike lime bloom it is usually permanent. Lime weeping is most frequently seen in older masonry work where lime bloom has gone unchecked. As with lime bloom, lime weeping is a result of water moving from within masonry work.
- Crystallization of Soluble Salts
Crystallization of soluble salts is the least common type of efflorescence and it is the result of masonry work produced using seawater or on retaining walls. When this happens, deposits of soluble salts are found within the masonry work and as they crystallize within, they stress the concrete and brick work resulting in swelling.
So what can you do about efflorescence?
The best way to tackle efflorescence is to prevent it from occurring. Prevention of efflorescence is to prevent water from being able to travel through masonry work. This waterproofing of masonry work can be done for any New York home by a reputable New York masonry company who will utilize professional grade waterproofing solutions.
What if You Already Have Signs of Efflorescence?
If your masonry work is already showing signs of efflorescence then it is important to address the issue right away. Hiring a a Long Island masonry professional like SJM Tile and Masonry to sandblast, wash and treat and apply waterproofing to your masonry work is the best place to start. If you don’t take immediate action to treat early efflorescence in masonry work, you will soon be looking at aesthetic faults as well as potential damage to your structure!
Why Should I Seal My Pavers?
Above, we talked about the detriment of efflorescence and how you can prevent it from damaging your masonry work by having a professional treat and seal your pavers. Sealing pavers not only prevents efflorescence from marring their physical appearance and structural integrity, but it also gives then a cleaner appearance, prevents surface erosion and stabilizes the joint sand. Once your pavers become dirty, eroded and destabilized your only solution may be to completely replace them! This is why it is crucial to protect them well the first time by having a professional company seal them with a high quality sealant.