HOA Powder Problem
Written By: Richard Thompson
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Several conditions must occur for efflorescence to appear. The soluble salts must be present in the bricks, mortar, or transported by water into the masonry from another source. There must be sufficient water to carry the salts in solution to the surface of the masonry. Then, evaporation causes the salts to come out of solution and be left behind as the salt deposits.
Soluble salts come from many elements or minerals found in the materials from which bricks and mortar are made. The sand used in mortar can have significant quantities of soluble salts. To reduce the efflorescence effect in mortar, experienced masons use only washed sand, which reduces the soluble salt content. But even with careful selection of materials, soluble salts can also be present in the soil behind a wall or in the water used to mix the mortar.
Efflorescence will often stop on its own when the supply of soluble salt in the bricks or mortar becomes exhausted. It can also stop if the source of water which dissolves the soluble salts is cut off. The process can also stop if the water in which the salts are dissolved is prevented from getting to the surface of the masonry. However, if a wall is used for retaining purposes, the process is impossible to stop unless the back side of the wall is waterproofed to prevent water intrusion.
There are several options to remove the deposits, which include using a stiff brush followed by flushing with water. However, this process can sometimes dissolve the salts and cause them to soak back into the wall. Using a weak solution of muriatic acid on some types of salts sometimes works, however, acid solutions can cause severe burns to skin and eyes. This should only be attempted by experienced contractors.
Homeowner associations deal with a variety of building maintenance issues. This is one that should be included on the To Do List. For step-by-step instructions how to stop water from getting into and behind brick, block or stone walls, see the Sealing Masonry Ebook .
For more on Maintenance Issues, see Regenesis.net .
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