Efflorescence on Decorative Concrete: Cause and Solutions
Efflorescence is an issue for most concrete surfaces. This is easily recognized as a white and powdery substance or a white discoloration under decorative concrete sealers. It is very unsightly and ruins the overall appeal of a concrete surface. If you notice efflorescence on your decorative concrete it may be time to give it some much-needed attention. In this article, we discuss why efflorescence occurs and how to prevent and correct it.
Durability and design are two things that decorative concrete has to offer. These two elements combine to make strong, beautiful concrete surfaces that improve the overall look and atmosphere of the entire area. Proper installation is necessary to make this happen. Any experienced contractor knows that the concrete’s moisture content during stain and sealer application requires the most attention.
Amongst all the different factors that can ruin decorative concrete, moisture is the most notable. Excessive moisture an either come from external forces or within the concrete mixture itself. This moisture interferes with the decorative stain or sealer causing efflorescence to appear. Natural salts from the concrete migrate from the concrete triggered by the reaction between water and carbon dioxide.
The cliche “prevention is better than the cure” applies to efflorescence on decorative concrete. Efflorescence can be difficult to deal with when it’s already under the sealant. To avoid this, licensed contractors use a variety of methods and techniques. One of the most important is to check for moisture content on existing concrete before applying decorative systems. Another is to make sure that the concrete mix has the proper amount of water.
For external moisture sources, it is important to use moisture mitigating coatings. Controlling the growth of efflorescence is essential. Removing efflorescence is no impossible but it tends to come back when the source of moisture is not dealt with. To remove efflorescence, on can use a dry brush or stiff broom. In some cases you can also brush it off with a mild detergent and water. Depending on the concrete surface, power washing is also a viable option.
Solutions for efflorescence can vary from surface to surface. As these can appear on stained concrete, stamped concrete and other decorative applications. Talk to your local licensed decorative contractor today for treatments or visit our homepage to know more.