What Is Efflorescence?

Monday 29th March 2021

Sophie

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 0333 577 5805 or email us on enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Comment
Jo Powell

Jo Powell

Business Development Manager

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

Sarah Griffiths

Star Star Star Star Star

1 month ago

Great service and a very thorough clean was completed by ICE

Read more

Posted on Google

Marie Marshall

Star Star Star Star Star

1 month ago

Extremely polite gentlemen and an outstanding cleaning job thank you so much.

Read more

Posted on Google

Steve

Star Star Star Star Star

1 month ago

It was a great piece of mind that all the hard to reach places had been cleaned and due to the cleaning process the team are safe for 28 days. The…

Read more

Posted on Google

Carol Cabourn-Ford

Star Star Star Star Star

1 month ago

Ice cleaning came and cleaned my garden as well as disinfecting it after flooding. The cleaners were really professional and friendly. They really…

Read more

Posted on Google

Jordan Rush

Star Star Star Star

1 month ago

While my partner and I were redecorating and removing old wallpaper we unfortunately found a lot of black mould. ICE Cleaning were able to come out…

Read more

Posted on Google

Aquico Wen

Star Star Star Star Star

1 month ago

Hired ICE Cleaning to clean the front facade of a recently purchased property, an old Victorian terrace house in a poor state. They did a fantastic…

Read more

Posted on Google

Suzanne Greenslade

Star Star Star Star Star

1 month ago

Had to find a fire specialist cleaning company after my Mum had a small fire in her flat. ICE came out to quote on a Sunday and started the work 3…

Read more

Posted on Google

Stephen Askins

Star Star Star Star Star

1 month ago

Charles and Joe from Ice Cleaning arrived early, were sympathetic to our situation, explained what they could do and worked diligently despite…

Read more

Posted on Google

Anthony Stephens

Star Star Star Star Star

1 month ago

I found this company very professional and attentive. I contacted two other companies and soon realised that Ice Cleaning Solutions was the company…

Read more

Posted on Google

Bon

Star Star Star Star Star

2 months ago

Andy & Marcus turned up completely unexpectedly after we'd been under two feet of raw sewage. They were polite, friendly, the epitome of…

Read more

Posted on Google

inca ink

Star Star Star Star Star

2 months ago

I used ICE cleaning's mould remediation service for a renovation property. Not only did they give me the best price available on the market via…

Read more

Posted on Google

Michele Cochrane

Star Star Star Star Star

2 months ago

A truly excellent, professional team work carried out by Andy and Marcus to jet wash my front drive and patio, very polite and conscious; will not…

Read more

Posted on Google

Edo Pre

Star Star Star Star Star

2 months ago

Yaro and the people from Ice Cleaning are truly amazing. This is an honest review and is a long story. We were supposed to move in our new apartment…

Read more

Posted on Google

Helen Teresa Edwards

Star Star Star Star Star

2 months ago

Used the mould remediation service to sort out mould caused by condensation. Very pleased with the result

Read more

Posted on Google

Simon Pearce

Star Star Star Star Star

2 months ago

Extremely professional and prompt service with well equipped and knowledgeable staff all at a great price. Would definitely recommend. 10/10

Read more

Posted on Google

Jennifer Roberts

Star Star Star Star Star

3 months ago

Great results, professional and lovely people to deal with

Read more

Posted on Google

Levana UK Limited

Star Star Star Star

3 months ago

They knew exactly what they were doing. Good professional cleaning for the COVID compliance. Issued cleaning certificate as well.

Read more

Posted on Google

Donna Midgley-Bryan

Star Star Star Star Star

3 months ago

The quality of work in cleaning my house was excellent. It was also a delight to encounter such polite, caring and professional staff. Very highly…

Read more

Posted on Google

Rebecca Mason

Star Star Star Star Star

3 months ago

We used Ice Cleaning Solutions to provide a COVID-19 clean of a work premises. I found them courteous to deal with, very professional and prompt. I…

Read more

Posted on Google

Fay Westray

Star Star Star Star Star

3 months ago

Mould or fungus had started to grow in the well of the passenger seat of my car, probably as it had not been used much during lockdown.I used the web…

Read more

Posted on Google

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
IPAF
NACSC
0333 577 5805Open 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.