What Is That White Stuff On My Basement Walls?

Efflorescence (which means “to flower out” in French) results from a loss of lime from concrete and masonry block foundations which leaves a white chalky or fuzzy substance. The good news is the build-up is not hazardous; the bad news is that the presence of efflorescence means you have a moisture problem that, left untreated, can cause serious deterioration.

The process involves water that infiltrates the block or concrete wall. The water dissolves the lime and As the water evaporates, the lime deposits are left behind allowing for efflorescence crystals to grow. While efflorescence is initially a visual problem, as more lime leeches out the concrete is weakened and, spalding can occur. Spalling is when the surface peels, pops out or flakes off.

While Efflorescence is simply lime that can be removed with special cleaning techniques, it can return. If this occurs, it is a sign that water is still entering the wall and driving the lime out. If it does not return, then the cause was initial moisture and lime from when the concrete was put in place.

How To Prevent Efflorescence

The best way to prevent efflorescence is to prevent water from infiltrating the wall. Cleaning the walls alone will not solve the problem. If you determine that efflorescence stays away after the initial clean up, your problem may be solved. However if it returns, you need to examine the interior and exterior of your home or business to evaluate the source of your moisture problem.

Everdry Waterproofing provides homeowners and business owners an evaluation on the source of the water in a basement or crawl space in order to address the ongoing problem of efflorescence. If you notice a white chalky substance leaching out of your concrete wall, we’ll conduct a complete evaluation to assess the problem and offer a solution that will treat the problem for good.