What Is Efflorescence?

Monday 29th March 2021

Sophie Rioch

No comments, yet!

CONTENTS

Efflorescence is a common concern for homeowners and builders in the UK. The reason for this has much to do with British weather.

Efflorescence is normally linked with rain and snow. According to the Met Office, Britain has seen an average of 156.2 days of rainfall per year over the last 3 decades (1981 to 2010). This equates to every 2 to 3 days.

Of course, some parts of England, Scotland and Wales are much wetter than others. For example, the farther west you go, you’ll need to pack a bigger umbrella. But in general, the average day hosts a 42.8% chance of rainfall.

With rainfall so prominent, the likelihood of efflorescence remains high. But what is efflorescence?

Whilst there’s a good chance that you’ve seen efflorescence before, you may not have known its name. In fact, many people who have heard of it don’t really know what it is.

According to The Balance, efflorescence is a crystalline or powdery deposit of salts. Found on the outer surface of brick, stone or concrete surfaces, it appears as a white-grey substance.

Efflorescence occurs following a period of rain or heavy moisture. When it rains, water seeps into gaps in the wall. It remains in the structure of the wall until the surface dries, before evaporating into the air. When this happens, a salt deposit is left behind.

The French translation of efflorescence means ‘to flower out’. As the term suggests, it can grow quickly. What may start out as a small patch of white, can quickly take over the walls of your building.

Though unharmful to humans, the appearance of efflorescence is rather unpleasant. It should be treated as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading.

To tackle the problem, you must first understand the cause.

What causes efflorescence?

As previously discussed, efflorescence is the product of evaporated water. However, in order for the process to take place, 3 conditions must be met:

Water-soluble salts must be present

Go Brick states that soluble salts must be present within or in contact with the brick, stone or concrete surface. Soluble salts can be found in mortar ingredients, backing materials, adjacent soil or even the brick itself.

A source of water must be in contact with the salts for a sufficient period of time

Moisture must be available for enough time to transform the salts into a soluble solution.

Salts must be able to move to the surface of the material

A pore structure must be present to allow the salt to migrate to the surface. Evaporation can only take place at the surface of the material.

There will usually be a driving force behind the moisture. This may include a temperature or humidity gradient. The driving force will push the moisture through the pore structure to the surface.

How to prevent efflorescence

Preventing efflorescence is a tricky task. For one, it is not possible to prevent moisture from coming into contact with masonry during harsh weather. It is also not practical to exclude soluble salts from masonry materials.

You can, however, attempt to reduce each of the contributing factors to prevent efflorescence. At the least, you should be able to reduce its severity.

Whilst you may not be able to stop moisture from coming into contact with the surface, for example, in the form of rain or snow, you may be able to minimise the amount of water that penetrates the masonry. Through careful selection of materials and design, you can lessen the amount of salts present.

Material selection plays a key role in preventing efflorescence. In recent years, many builders have opted for concrete brick to reduce the possibility of efflorescence. Concrete brick is a solid choice as its composition makes it less likely to develop efflorescence over time (Tobermore).

You may also choose to invest in a water-repellent coating for your surfaces. Silicone and acrylic coatings are ideal for reducing the amount of water absorbed. The best solution is a combination of both a suitable material and a sufficient coating.

How to remove efflorescence

Normal weathering may remove traces of efflorescence over time. However, if you don’t want to wait, you can remove the efflorescence yourself.

Whilst the removal of efflorescence is a relatively easy operation, it’s always advisable to hire the professionals. A team of experts will have access to unrivalled techniques and solutions, allowing for a speedy cleaning process.

Call us today

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer professional brick and stone cleaning services for customers in the UK. Using non-abrasive cleaning methods, we can successfully remove all traces of efflorescence from your site.

To find out more, contact our friendly support team on 0208 066 0360 or email us on enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Comment
Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

Sales Representative

Add to contacts

Speak with me today,
I’m here to help

By asking you a few questions either via phone or email I can immediately provide a realistic estimation of the cost.

You’re in good company. We’ve cleaned for the following commercial clients… View all

Customer reviews

Our happy customers have rated our service as
4.9 on Google.

View All Reviews

Sue Sullivan

Star Star Star Star Star

5 months ago

Ice did a brilliant job and I would highly recommend them. Reilly in the office booked everything in and was most helpful, and then Harry came and…

Read more

Posted on Google

John Hatswell

Star Star Star Star Star

6 months ago

We had a pressing need to address concerns regarding a clean up of a Trauma site. Ice Services and Zoe were responsive, informative and professional.…

Read more

Posted on Google

Eddie Mack

Star Star Star Star Star

7 months ago

I’ve used ICE Cleaning a few times and the service has been absolutely terrific. Paul Gimenez was incredibly helpful and dealt with everything…

Read more

Posted on Google

Martha Sparkes

Star Star Star Star Star

7 months ago

Power cleaned my external brick walls and look very good. They were punctual, hard working and respectful. I would recommend them with no hesitation.

Read more

Posted on Google

Simon Nicholson

Star Star Star Star Star

7 months ago

Booked ICE Cleaning at short notice to help with the clean-up of our outdoor Event Site in Central London. Whilst they were unable to assist with our…

Read more

Posted on Google

Kim Barnes

Star Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

From start to finish, booking in with Jess in the office to Mark and Lee turning up for app 5-star service from start to finish..Quick turnaround…

Read more

Posted on Google

Mark Treasure

Star Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

We recently used ICE Cleaning to assist with the cleaning of communal areas and flats following a fire in a service riser. I initially spoke with…

Read more

Posted on Google

Martin Haw

Star Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

Very prompt, polite and professional service

Read more

Posted on Google

George C

Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

Very professional and the sales team are very helpful and easy to deal with. The job was carried out quickly and professionally and the site team…

Read more

Posted on Google

Derik Matheus

Star Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

ICE Cleaning is a great company to work with! They have been cleaning our office for two years, and we are thrilled to have them as part of our team.

Read more

Posted on Google

Dannil Sourez

Star Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

ICE Cleaning Solutions is a serious and responsible company that takes pride in their work.

Read more

Posted on Google

Sam Hart

Star Star Star Star Star

10 months ago

Very impressed with ICE cleaning, really efficient and had good service. Dealt with my mould issue in my gym really well and couldn’t be…

Read more

Posted on Google

Luke Stockwell

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

We used ICE Cleaning at BT Sport for a Cage Warriors event in our studios. In previous years this event had caused multiple problems due to the risk…

Read more

Posted on Google

Danielle Baycanli

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE cleaning cleaned the floors and carpets of our school to a very high standard. The team was friendly and efficient and we were very happy with…

Read more

Posted on Google

Emma Bryan

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

ICE cleaning completed a commercial clean for us. They were very professional, prompt, responsive and they event went back the next day to finish…

Read more

Posted on Google

Stuart Goodson

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Zoe as the first point of contact was extremely helpful and efficient. The decontamination of toxic mercury from my mother’s garage was…

Read more

Posted on Google

Nick Barringer

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

I was dealt with very professionally from first contact through to completion. The people are pleasant and knowledgeable, the work was carried out…

Read more

Posted on Google

Jason Etherington

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

Fantastic service, the technician was very understanding and talked us through the process and was happy to answer any questions. Work was completed…

Read more

Posted on Google

Alison Bailey

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

On calling ICE following a spillage, I first came into contact with Zoe. At all times Zoe was courteous, calm and professional. I asked her to call…

Read more

Posted on Google

Elisabeth Underdown

Star Star Star Star Star

1 year ago

We came back from holiday to see a massive mould problem in 2 of our rooms. We checked around but found this company to be best priced, most…

Read more

Posted on Google
Why choose us

Why choose us?

  • Cater to a wide variety of cleaning situations
  • Nationwide coverage, available 24/7
  • Cater to commercial and domestic clients
  • Free survey provided prior to quotation 
  • Emergency response team
  • Offer a bespoke service designed to suit all your needs 
  • All technicians hold professional health and safety qualifications, including BICSc, IOSH, Dewpoint Professional & Safe Contractor 

We’re fully accredited

We place best practise, professional expertise and health and safety at the core of our business. We’re fully compliant with all legal obligations. You can view a list of our accreditations below, or visit our Health & Safety page for more information.

CSCS
BICSc
IOSH
SafeContractor
Dewpoint® Professional Corporate Membership
IPAF
NACSC
0208 066 0360Open 24/7
Close

We use cookies

If you continue without changing your settings we'll assume you're happy to receive our cookies.
If you'd like to change this just update your browser settings. Find out more.

Okay. I got it.