Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a common basement problem. Do you know how to uncover efflorescence and how to fix the underlying efflorescence problems?

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Heavy Efflorescence on brick

Catching Efflorescence Early

There are many basement waterproofing problems that many homeowners don’t quite understand. Unfortunately, it’s common for basement waterproofing problems to have a strange air that makes them difficult for many homeowners to pick up on or know how to fix. Efflorescence is one of those problems. Homeowners often confuse efflorescence with mold, assume it’s normal on concrete, or just don’t notice it in the first place. If you want to make sure your basement is as healthy as possible, you need to make sure you’re dealing with efflorescence. Here’s how to do it.

How to Discover Efflorescence Early On

Obviously, the first step is making sure you discover efflorescence as early as possible. These are a few of the ways you can discover efflorescence relatively early on. 

  • Understand the Problem Signs

There are always going to be problem signs that indicate issues with your basement waterproofing. These problem signs should be things you pay very close attention to when you’re maintaining your basement on a day-to-day basis. Here are a few of the most common problem signs that could indicate a future concern with efflorescence:

  • Leaks in the water pipes
  • Basement condensation
  • Hydrostatic pressure
  • High indoor humidity 
Example of efflorescence in basement corner. White in color with the consistency of salt deposits embedded in brick.

Of course, efflorescence is itself a problem sign of something else. When you see efflorescence, it means there’s a leak somewhere near that area. You could almost consider efflorescence its own warning sign of water issues, which means it’s important to notice so you can tackle the underlying concerns.

  • Get an Expert Inspection

Nothing can quite beat an inspection from a basement expert when it comes to these kinds of concerns. A basement expert can look into your basement, evaluate the problems you’re experiencing, and let you know what you might need to do so you can maintain your basement’s health. That can also impact the rest of your home’s health.

An expert inspection is extremely important, but many homeowners don’t treat it with the respect it deserves. Unfortunately, it’s very common for homeowners to gloss over the expert inspection every year. Remember, when you’re scheduling an expert inspection, it’s essentially an investment in your future, helping you uncover any potentially destructive basement problems before they get too bad. 

  • Inspect Your Own Home

An expert inspection every year is definitely important, but it’s also very important to do your own inspections every year. Although an expert can get deeper into the basement than you can, the expert can also come only about once per year. You live in your home every day, which makes it much easier for you to manage your basement and other concerns.

This is why self-inspections can be such a helpful element of maintaining your basement health. Even though you often won’t be able to get to the bottom of the problem, you can at least notice the problem. From there, you can call in a basement repair expert, who will be able to inspect things much more in-depth and give you a better assessment of the concerns.

How Does Efflorescence Have an Impact?

What does efflorescence actually do? Homeowners may not fully understand that the underlying causes behind efflorescence can actually make an impact. Here’s how efflorescence indicates a problem you need to fix. 

  • In Your Basement

The basement itself will start to have other problems when you see efflorescence. It’s interesting to note that efflorescence itself doesn’t have any negative impacts. It’s basically just salt, and you can scrape it off with a tough brush or a paint scraper. However, it’s the path by which the salt forms that you really need to worry about.

When you’re thinking about problems in your basement from efflorescence, you’re really thinking about problems in your basement from water. Efflorescence is, after all, essentially an indication that there’s a leak somewhere in your basement because you need water to cause efflorescence. That entry for water can be a huge problem if you never discover it, wreaking havoc all across the basement. 

  • In the Rest of Your Home

Those water problems aren’t going to stay in the basement, either. You’re going to have water problems all throughout your home. Although many homeowners notice the water problems in the basement first, you have to remember that your basement and the rest of your home exchange a lot of air. That means the water problems will cross the barrier to enter the home as a whole.

Your home has a lot of things in it that will often react poorly to high levels of indoor humidity. That includes everything from the door frames and the floors to your cabinets and wardrobes. You need to fix whatever’s causing the efflorescence because if you don’t, you’re almost certainly going to end up with serious humidity and moisture concerns throughout the home as a whole.

  • Across Your Property

On an even deeper level, it’s not just the home that’s going to start seeing problems from whatever’s causing the efflorescence. Think even deeper. Where is the water coming from that’s coming through the wall to create efflorescence? Commonly, it’s because you have a problem with your basement walls that may stem from an external concern you need to tackle.

If you’re having efflorescence because your basement walls are bowed due to an excess of hydrostatic pressure, for example, it’s possible that your soil just retains too much moisture. That can cause other problems all across your property. In general, this is all about whatever the underlying problem is. If that problem is serious, it will almost always seriously impact the rest of the property.



Efflorescence Doesn’t Have to Be a Huge Problem with an Expert’s Help

Although efflorescence may not seem like a big deal to you, it’s a significant enough deal that you need to address it as soon as possible. When you have issues with efflorescence, you’re having a variety of problems you need to address, all of which are hiding just underneath the surface.

However, you don’t have to ignore efflorescence or scrape it off while ignoring the problems it’s indicating. As a matter of fact, if you do it right, efflorescence can be a warning sign of a problem you can catch very early on. Talk to a Groundworks basement repair expert to learn more about your options when you see efflorescence in your basement.



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