Efflorescence Repair

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Our Sealer solves the efflorescence problem!

Efflorescence is a curse affecting all cement based building materials. This includes paving, brickwork, blockwork, concrete, render, grout and tiled areas.

We often encounter efflorescence on tiled shower floors where the water has been allowed to get into the substrate. This usually happens because the corners have not been caulked and the grout has cracked allowing water to penetrate the floor.

If water has been allowed to penetrate the grout into the substrate the moisture needs to go somewhere. It travels up through the grout which brings the calcium and lime compounds from the mortar and grout to the surface. This is where they react with carbon dioxide in air to form insoluble crystalline calcium carbonate, thus, the crusty white powdery stuff this is efflorescence.

This unsightly white powdery material we often see detracts from what should otherwise be an attractive and clean surface. In extreme cases the efflorescence can obscure the surface and the crystallization can cause erosion and pitting.

Just washing the efflorescence off the surface usually starts an almost endless cycle of more efflorescence rising to the surface. After only a few days the surface is as powdery as before. If it is a new installation, the answer is to seal the surface with our high performance sealer as soon as practicable after the building material is installed. If in a shower the answer is to stop the water from getting in and seal it The sealer must be deeply penetrating (5 to 10-mm), able to withstand the highly alkaline environment found in cement based-materials and be completely breathable so moisture cannot be trapped below the surface.

Once the surface is sealed a deep water-repelling layer is formed. This layer will prevent water and dissolved lime compounds from reaching the surface where efflorescence could occur. At the same time the sealer stops further water soaking into the surface and so breaks the cycle of efflorescence. The unused lime compounds are left harmlessly immobile in the core of the building material with little contact with carbon dioxide. Since the sealer can breathe, sub-surface moisture can escape as water vapor rather than in a liquid form.

If efflorescence has already occurred the surface can be permanently restored with taking proper steps to ensure it will not return. Our silane sealer can perform this task without changing the look, texture or frictional properties of the surface.

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