What is Efflorescence and What to Do About It

Do you have a brick or concrete surface with white residue and salt stains appearing on it? There’s a technical name for that. It’s called “efflorescence”.

Efflorescence is something that can plague both interior and exterior concrete, though it’s more common indoors. Efflorescence is caused by moisture rising through the concrete, bringing salts within the concrete to the surface.

The moisture usually comes from the concrete itself. Less skilled concrete workers will sometimes mix too much water into the concrete, which can increase the chances of efflorescence occurring.

On an untreated concrete floor, this can usually be scrubbed or washed away. On floors with a film forming sealer, it can become a trickier problem to deal with. The efflorescence gets trapped under the coating, forming spots and even causing delamination on certain types of sealers.

Is Efflorescence a Problem?

Depending on the severity of the efflorescence, it can look pretty bad, but how serious of an issue is it? The good news is it poses no health risks. Though it may look like mold or mildew, it’s not.

It also won’t likely do any damage to the concrete itself. But it can damage/ruin your concrete sealing. Ultimately, though, the biggest issue with efflorescence is appearance.

Can Efflorescence be Removed?

Yes, efflorescence can be removed from concrete floors. If the concrete is untreated and the efflorescence is minimal, it shouldn’t take more than a scrub and spray. For more serious cases or for stained, sealed, or coated concrete, it’s best to bring in a professional.

When dealing with efflorescence in sealed concrete, we first strip the affected sealer, give the concrete a light acid wash to remove the efflorescence, and then we fix the area with stain and sealant as needed so that it matches the surroundings.

The end result is a beautiful concrete floor that looks like it’s supposed to.

If you’re in need efflorescence removal or concrete coating in Minnesota, Artisan concrete is here for you. Contact us today to schedule an inspection or to get a quote on a future project!