Efflorescence Found During Virginia Beach Home Inspection
Efflorescence is an accumulation of minerals and salts on masonry surfaces, such as brick, cement, and sometimes stone. The presence of efflorescence is not dangerous, but it indicates that there is a moisture issue that may lead to more serious structural and health issues.
Where Does Efflorescence Come From
There are salts in masonry building materials like concrete, stucco, and asphalt. When these materials come into contact with water the salts are dissolved. As the water leaves the material the dissolved salts are deposited on the surface forming a crystal like growth. The water source can come from a number of locations and needs to be controlled in order to prevent the moisture intrusion. Efflorescence is nature’s way of informing you that there is a problem to contend with and control.
Efflorescence can come in many forms. It can be powdery, it can have sharp edges and be easy to spot, or it can have indistinct edges. It normally appears white in color but can be brown, green or yellow as well. It can cover a large area as a fine dust, or form large individual crystals. The type of salt from which it is composed plays a large part in how in manifests, but humidity also plays a role in this determination. In really dry climates, water can evaporate before it even reaches the surface, in which case the salt will accumulate unseen beneath the surface. In humid conditions, moisture may take a long time to evaporate, allowing the slow growth of “whispers” projecting from the surface.
What to do
Efflorescence can be cleaned off with a variety of different methods. The important consideration to be made is what causing it in the first place. If there is efflorescence found during your home inspection in Virginia Beach you will need to consult with a contractor or mason to determine the best course of action for prevent moisture intrusion into your home.