If you’ve discovered a white, powdery substance along a basement wall and wondered what it is exactly, you are not alone. This white, chalky substance is called efflorescence and is more common in than you may think. Like mould, efflorescence is the result of water or excess moisture in your basement caused by improper basement waterproofing. City Wide Group is here to help you understand what efflorescence is, how to remove it, and how to prevent it.

What is Efflorescence?

Efflorescence is a white, chalky substance that is the result of salt deposits left behind after rainwater that leaked into your basement has evaporated. It is most commonly found on basement walls, around windows, and in corners. Much like mould, efflorescence thrives in a wet basement and can cause considerable damage to your home. However, unlike mould, efflorescence is not harmful to your health.

How is it caused?

There are three components that efflorescence: salt, water, and a way inside your home. In fact, salt is found in many building materials such as concrete, stucco, or masonry. When these materials make up your home’s foundation and contain cracks, water is able to seep through. This water can carry salt from the building material into your basement and create conditions for efflorescence to form.

How to Remove Efflorescence

Thankfully, cleaning up efflorescence is not difficult. A common treatment is sandblasting. While this method is effective in removing the efflorescence, it can also damage the surface you are cleaning and remove more than just the efflorescence. Another popular method of removing efflorescence is with chemical cleaning agents. This method is less damaging than sandblasting and is usually much less of a hassle. An effective and simple chemical cleaner that can remove efflorescence is a solution of Muriatic acid and water, that can be found at your local hardware store.

How to Prevent Efflorescence

While removing efflorescence will solve the problem in the short term, the best solution is to prevent it from ever happening again is by properly waterproofing your home. Cracks in your basement’s foundation allow water to leak through, carrying salt deposits along with it. You can stop efflorescence at the source by waterproofing your basement and keeping water and salt deposits where they belong – outside.

If your home is in need of waterproofing, City Wide Group is here to help with professional and timely service. Call us today at 416-283-5500 for a free estimate, or visit us online.