As a property manager, it's important to understand what efflorescence is and how it affects your building to take effective measures to manage it.
Efflorescence is a common problem that affects many buildings, especially those with masonry. While efflorescence doesn't cause any structural damage, it can negatively impact the appearance of a building, causing buildings to look unappealing.
Although often an otherwise harmless issue, efflorescence can be a sign of a much bigger safety concern—especially when it comes to properties.
What Is Efflorescence?
Efflorescence is the white, chalky deposit that appears on masonry and other surfaces. It's caused by the salt deposits in the building materials, which are dissolved when the building is exposed to moisture. As the water evaporates, the dissolved salts are left behind on the surface, forming efflorescence.
Because of this, the presence of efflorescence is often an indication that a property suffers from water intrusion, a plumbing leak, high humidity, or another cause of excessive moisture.
How Does Efflorescence Affect a Building?
Efflorescence itself doesn't cause any structural damage to buildings but can be a sign that there’s too much moisture present.
As moisture seeps into building materials, it causes serious structural damage over time. This damage includes weakening foundations, causing cracks in walls, and promoting mold growth. Excessive moisture can also cause damage to sheetrock, promote wood rot, and reduce the effectiveness of insulation.
How Do You Get Rid of Efflorescence?
Because efflorescence can be unsightly, you’re probably interested in removing it. The first step in fixing efflorescence is to identify the source of the water intrusion. Often, this is a problem with the building's drainage system. If this is the case, you'll need to fix the problem before you can properly address the efflorescence.
Once you've fixed the source of the problem, you can remove the efflorescence with a variety of different methods. The most common method is to use a mild acid solution to dissolve the salt deposits. This can be dangerous and should only be done by trained professionals.
Another method is to use a pressure washer to remove the efflorescence. However, this can be damaging to the building if done incorrectly, so it's important to have a professional do this work.
Efflorescence can be a frustrating problem for property managers, but it's important to recognize that it’s caused by moisture, which can cause even worse problems if ignored. By understanding what efflorescence is and how it affects your building, you can take effective measures to handle the problem and protect your property.
Remember to identify the source of the problem and to use safe methods to remove the efflorescence. If you're unsure about how to handle the problem, don't hesitate to contact a professional who can help you.
United Structural Systems can provide the professional services you need to help prevent efflorescence. Contact us today for help!