Episode 4 – Definition of Efflorescence

Today we are going to discuss the definition of efflorescence. Efflorescence occurs when salt migrates to the surface of a porous material like concrete, brick, stone or stucco and forms a coating. Salt that is dissolved in water or another liquid solution will move to the porous surface and then evaporate which leaves a coating of salt. It sometimes travels through the masonry or other construction material and occasionally it is already in the material and the water penetrates and moves it to the surface. This crystalline deposit of salts may appear white or have a grayish tint and often sparkles a bit.

The word efflorescence means “to flower out” in French and in these cases it is salt flowering out of the surfaces. These are samples of primary efflorescence which causes staining. Sub-efflorescence, also known as spalling, is much more expensive to fix and we cover that issue in another episode. Cleaning of the surface is often temporary and not necessarily a cure for future recurrence.

Using a facade like Ceramitex is a way of avoiding the issue altogether. The sintered ceramic is not porous like many masonry materials and repels water from the surface.

To see more about the Ceramitex or other Elemex facade systems, visit our website or contact a representative for more information.