What is Efflorescence?

Victoria Bryant
October 19, 2021

Colors play an integral part in our lives. Ranging from a means of communicating vital information to simply being a way to enhance our surroundings, these colors can be utilized to not only enhance your location’s appearance, but to also attract attention to the benefit of your business. This is primarily done through the usage of paint, the most effective method to bring color to your place of business. While a quality paint job can breathe life into your location’s visual appeal, there are some issues that can have a detrimental effect on the finished product.

One of the most common observed defects on block or brick substrates is efflorescence. Efflorescence is a powdery deposit, often white in color, that forms on the surface of brick, plaster, and other concrete-type structures. These deposits stem from the presence of various salts in the materials that comprise the wall, including bricks, mortar, sand, and even the water used in the curing process. Aside from being an aesthetic issue, these deposits are also capable of causing physical damage to the paint layers, and ultimately, reducing the overall attractiveness of your building’s appearance.

The usual culprit causing efflorescence is the movement of moisture or water through a building’s masonry walls due to factors such as poor design, workmanship, or settling. The process leaves the salt deposits behind once the water has evaporated. Eradicating the moisture issue therefore is the first step to eliminating the presence and potential reoccurrence of efflorescence. Fortunately, the removal of the efflorescence itself is a simple matter with a stiff brush and careful washing.

Once the underlying causes of efflorescence have been corrected, further preventative measures, such as a hydrophobic sealant applied to the surface or the drilling of weep holes at the base of CMU can be completed to help prevent the efflorescence from appearing in the future.

With the tremendous amount of value a paint job brings to your building, ensuring the integrity of the paint itself is of vital importance. Identifying efflorescence and the root causes is the first step to making sure your building looks it best for as long as possible.

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