Have you noticed white patches on the surface of concrete or brick walls? That’s efflorescence, a rather long and complicated name that means ‘to flower out’ in French. While those white patches look like a harmless cosmetic issue, they could potentially indicate internal structural weakness. In this article, we go deeper into the efflorescence phenomenon, its causes, and remedial measures that can be taken to prevent it from damaging your new home.

What does efflorescence mean?
Efflorescence is crystalline (powdery) deposits, usually white in colour that is sometimes formed on the surface of brickwork, plasterwork, and other concrete type structures. It appears as a white chalky powder with white or greyish tint on the surface of a concrete or brick wall. Efflorescence is not only an aesthetic concern but can also physically damage paint layers beyond repair. It can also be an indication of moisture intrusion that could lead to major structural or indoor air quality issues.

What causes efflorescence?
Efflorescence is nothing but dissolved salts that are visible after the evaporation of water in which it was transported. The moisture that creates efflorescence often comes from groundwater, but rainwater could also be the source.

Three factors must be present for efflorescence to appear:
1. Soluble Salt(s): A variety of salts and salt-forming chemicals can be present in masonry. They include an array of sulphates and silicates or ordinary table salt, sodium chloride. They are often present due to the use of hard water during construction.
2. Water: Moisture is the vehicle that carries the salt to the surface of the masonry structure.
3. Channel/Passage: Concrete and bricks have microscopic pores. These tiny pores allow water to move by capillary action. If the moisture reaches the surface and evaporates, it leaves behind the dissolved salts as efflorescence.

If any one of these conditions is eliminated, efflorescence will not occur.

How to prevent efflorescence?
Good building practice is essential in order to prevent efflorescence as we are trying to avoid the factors causing efflorescence: keeping salts out of the masonry and avoiding porosity in masonry work.

Here are the important measures to prevent your building from efflorescence:
1. To prevent salts, make sure the sand and gravel used in concrete has been washed and that the water in the mix is salt-free (soft water).
2. To reduce porosity and water ingress, use GODRY UNIPROOF integral waterproofing admixtures in both concrete and brick masonry mortar so that the capillary pores/voids that tend to carry water are blocked.
3. Cover the surface using BESTBUILD MAXPRIME ER efflorescence-resistant penetrating primer, which penetrates the substrate and blocks lime from coming on to the surface. It also gives alkaline-resistant properties to the substrate.

What is BESTBUILD MAXPRIME ER?
BESTBUILD MAXPRIME ER is a water-based primer for cement, concrete & plastered surfaces. On application, MAXPRIME ER penetrates the substrate and blocks lime or salt from coming on to the surface. Thus, it provides extra protection for the paint, even in extremely harsh conditions.

Use BESTBUILD MAXPRIME ER for an aesthetically appealing & healthy home!

To know more about BESTBUILD MAXPRIMER ER, please visit, http://www.bestbuild.co.in/MaxprimeER.html.

To know more about GODRY UNIPROOF, please visit,
http://godry.co.in/uniproof.php.

References
https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Efflorescence
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efflorescence
https://www.nitterhousemasonry.com/tips-advice/what-is-efflorescence/
https://www.thebalance.com/definition-of-efflorescence-1798544
https://theconstructor.org/building/efflorescence-treatment/21847/
https://www.concreteconstruction.net/products/decorative-concrete-surfaces/what-causes-efflorescence-and-how-do-you-remove-it_o
https://www.packagepavement.com/technical-resources/education-resources/efflorescence/