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How to properly treat efflorescence on your block walls

Have you noticed any white, crystalline or powdery deposits lurking on your block walls lately? 

If so, you may have a problem with efflorescence.

Efflorescence occurs when water seeps through your building materials and evaporates, leaving behind small soluble salt deposits on or within the surface of your walls. This is typically triggered by long periods of rain, snow or low temperatures around your home.

Fortunately, there are several waterproofing solutions that can help to eliminate efflorescence and prevent it not only from ruining your property’s overall appearance, but also from causing serious structural damage.

So, how do you correctly treat efflorescence and achieve the best results for your block wall?

Here at Scientific Waterproofing Products (SWP), we’ve got the tips and products that you need to help you!

First, what causes efflorescence?

Efflorescence typically develops in humid, less ventilated areas, as well as areas with poor drainage or improper surface sealing.
Efflorescence can also occur during construction when building materials are left out and exposed to moisture overnight. In some cases, efflorescence can also become an issue when waterproofing is not conducted properly, or at all, as your property is being built.
While efflorescence is not a serious threat, it still has the potential to lead to mould growth and other moisture problems around your home that can be harmful to you and your family’s health.
That’s why it’s best to take care of efflorescence before it becomes a real problem.

So, how do you treat efflorescence correctly?

SWP offers a wide range of solutions that can help address efflorescence and other water-related issues in your home.

With SWP’s Efflorescence-Rid, you’ve got an efflorescence remover that’s not just economical, it’s also biodegradable, non-toxic and green

Here are the steps you need take to treat efflorescence around your home with Efflorescence-Rid:

Surface Preparation

  1. First, clean all dirt off the affected surface using Red-PowerClean Degreaser.
  2. Test Efflorescence-Rid on a small patch of your wall prior to application, as some surfaces can become bleached after applying the product.
  3. Water all surrounding grass and shrubs well before applying Efflorescence-Rid to help protect them and keep them safe. 

Application of Efflorescence-Rid

  1. Start by slightly wetting the surface. Efflorescence-Rid is much more effective if the surface is slightly dampened prior to application. We also advise using a plastic garden pump sprayer to apply Efflorescence-Rid.
  2. Once applied, allow Efflorescence-Rid to foam and work for 3-5 minutes. The right amount of time depends on the degree of efflorescence and the durability of the surface. That’s why testing is important.
  3. Agitate the concrete surface with a stiff nylon brush, broom or rotating concrete scrubber. Professional applicators may also use a Zero Tip/turbo nozzle if necessary.
  4. Wash all the dirt and remaining Efflorescence-Rid from the wall, then rinse properly. It is important not to Power Wash as this will activate more salt.
  5. Re-apply Efflorescence-Rid on any remaining tough spots or where foaming on the surface has occurred. Repeat these steps until all efflorescence has been removed and foaming has stopped.
  6. Rinse everything, including your equipment, with plenty of water after use.

Why is the re-application of Efflorescence-Rid a must?

At SWP, we cannot emphasise enough just how important it is to repeat the application of Efflorescence-Rid until all foaming has stopped and no efflorescence is left on the surface. 

It’s extremely necessary, especially if you plan to apply other waterproofing products such as SEALTIGHT, or ULTRA MASONRY BLOCK SEALER and Drizoro MAXSEAL FLEX on your block walls.

These sealing products are designed to penetrate the surface, so all efflorescence must be removed prior to their application to avoid cases of concrete delamination. 

What is concrete delamination?

Concrete delamination appears as a void that peels and detaches from the slab base surface. Cases of concrete delamination look quite similar to concrete blisters but are much larger in size – ranging from a few square inches to several square feet.

The above photo shows two areas: one where the membrane has fully adhered and another where the salt (efflorescence) has not been totally removed, indicating excess amounts of salt which would have prevented the membrane from adhering.

So, to prevent concrete delamination from occurring and the failure of your waterproofing, make sure to re-apply Efflorescence-Rid as necessary. 

Here are other important things to keep in mind

Below, you will find some additional tips that will help you to get the best results from waterproofing:

  • Allow the surface to fully dry before applying SEALTIGHT or ULTRA MASONRY BLOCK SEALER.
  • Once the surface is completely dry, you can apply SEALTIGHT or ULTRA MASONRY BLOCK SEALER to waterproof the surface and help keep efflorescence from forming again in the future.
  • While the surface is wet with ULTRA MASONRY BLOCK SEALER, you can apply MAXSEAL FLEX.

Once applied and cured, MAXSEAL FLEX provides a non-toxic, flexible and waterproof coating with very high adhesion on common construction substrates, including concrete, natural and artificial stone, traditional mortar plasters, bricks, concrete blocks, Hebel, and more.

  • Allow MAXSEAL FLEX to cure for a minimum of 14 hours and a maximum of 3 days. Once it’s cured, wet the surface with water and apply a second coat of MAXSEAL FLEX.

Just take note that the most crucial aspect in the application of a cementitious membrane is preparation.

So, seeking the expertise of a professional waterproofing contractor or applicator is something you should prioritise to ensure excellent results.

For further guidance, don’t hesitate to speak to your local Australian waterproofing specialists.

Get the right waterproofing solutions to treat efflorescence with SWP

At Scientific Waterproofing Products (SWP), our team is here to provide you with the right waterproofing solutions for your unique situation. We offer a wide range of Drizoro cement-based waterproof coatings for all your maintenance and restoration requirements.

If you have any questions about efflorescence or other water-related problems, or you’d like to find out which product is best for your needs, contact us today! You can also check out a list of local Drizoro resellers and applicators here.

As always, SWP is committed to providing the right waterproofing solution.

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