Efflorescence can occur for various reasons starting from rain and snow to incorrect technique of ground storage. Efflorescence is a white and powder-like tint which makes a concrete wall to lose its beauty. So, it is crucial to know how to remove efflorescence from concrete block walls. Efflorescence is not permanent on your wall, and you can remove it with the right tools and correct technique.
But why does efflorescence occur in the first place? Water and snow are two major factors behind efflorescence’s occurrence. It may also occur during home construction. Usually, the concrete block walls absorb excess water. When the water evaporates from the wall, the salt is left out, and it crystallizes, which finally results in white or greyish powder like component. However, we will guide you with a step by step guide, which will help you to remove efflorescence from your walls.
How to Remove Efflorescence from Concrete Block Walls
Step 1: Collect the necessary tools
To remove efflorescence from your concrete block walls, you will need a few handy tools and ingredients. You will need a bucket filled with warm water, liquid dish soap, sponge, clean cloth, paint or bristle brush, dry cloth, protective goggles, and a fan.
Step 2: Make a mixture of soap and warm water
At first, you need to make a mixture of soap and warm water. Take a bucket with 5 gallons of warm water. Then, add liquid dish soap – a few drops will be enough. You will need a bristle or paintbrush to scrub the wall. Dip the brush in the mixture of soap and water. Then, scrub the wall properly.
Step 3: Use fresh water after using the mixture for a while
After you are done scrubbing a large area with the brush, make sure that you change the water. Because the water will become dirty as you will dip the brush continuously after scrubbing. After scrubbing the wall with soap, don’t forget to rinse the wall with plain water. You can use a clean cloth by dipping it in the water. You must see if there is any dirt or efflorescence left in the wall.
Step 4: Use fans to dry the wall
It is the most crucial step, as well as the easiest one. After cleaning the wall with freshwater, you need to dry the wall. Otherwise, the wall will again absorb water, and the possibility of reoccurrence of efflorescence will increase. This method is for concrete block walls which are inside your house. In case of outside walls, you won’t need to use a fan. Let the sun and wind to dry the walls. Always clean the walls during daylight so that you don’t need to do extra hassle for drying the walls.
Step 5: Clean with strong chemical products in case of an intense layer of efflorescence
If scrubbing the wall with liquid dish soap and warm water isn’t enough, you can use a chemical cleaner to clean the wall. Before using chemical products, you will need to wet the concrete wall. You can use a cloth or a spray to wet the wall where efflorescence has appeared. It will help to prevent the wall from absorbing the chemical components, which can result in a worse situation.
If you follow this step by step guide described above, you will be able to remove efflorescence easily from your concrete block wall. The method will work for both inside and outside walls. However, we will also show you how you can use vinegar to remove efflorescence. In the last section, you will find the answer to how you can remove efflorescence from your basement wall.
Remove Efflorescence with from Brick with Vinegar
To remove efflorescence with vinegar, you will need to make a solution. Pour the same amount of vinegar and water in a bucket. Alternatively, you can mix trisodium phosphate with warm water. As vinegar is an acid, it helps to react against the alkaline properties of efflorescence and remove it from the wall. It is a strong alkaline, so be careful while using it. The next process is similar. Dip a paintbrush in the water and vinegar mixture and scrub the wall thoroughly. You can wet the wall with the vinegar solution and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, wash the wall with clean water to remove the excess dirt. Always clean the wall properly after you are done the scrubbing. Otherwise, the strong smell of vinegar can irritate you. If there is any property of vinegar left in the wall, it will degrade the wall gradually over time.
White Efflorescence Stains on Retaining Walls
You can take a few measurements to prevent white efflorescence from occurring in retaining walls. You can add a French drain or a weeping tile. It is a type of trench which is filled with rocks and gravel. The pipe will redirect water away from a specific area. So, the retaining walls will not be able to hold moisture for a long period which usually results in white efflorescence. You can take the necessary measures so that moisture doesn’t enter the soil. Another thing you should keep in mind is that you need to manage your swimming pool properly if there is one. Sometimes, water can leak from the pool or the pipe, which will result in damage to the retaining walls.
How to Remove Efflorescence from Basement Walls
Basements walls are the most common areas where efflorescence occur. Because the area is usually damp, and it absorbs water very quickly. You can remove efflorescence from basement walls by following a few steps. The first thing you need to do is to cover the area with plastic sheets. Wet the areas with warm water. Use a scrub brush to clean the dirt. Work with small sections so that water doesn’t get dried before you can scrub. At last, let the wall dry off automatically. If using water doesn’t work, you can add the same amount of vinegar in the mixture to get a better result.
Removing efflorescence from concrete block walls isn’t that hard as you think. With the right tools and technique, you will be able to get rid off efflorescence in no time. Always be careful while working with strong chemical products.