Crawlspace Series #4: What is Efflorescence?

wet basement concrete block stains referred to as efflorescenceMost homeowners recognize the immediate signs of water intrusion in their home… standing water, leaks or even damp, musty odors.   But, some signs are a lot more subtle.   Efflorescence is one example of this point.

What is Efflorescence?

Efflorescence is the accumulation of minerals in concrete or soil that dissolve in water; as water evaporates the excess mineral deposits remain visible as a white powder or crystalization. In other words, it is a mineral residue.

What does the presence of efflorescence mean?

If you see signs of mineral residue on the walls in your crawl space or basement, it is an indication that water is slowly leaking in and out of the concrete in your walls. The water has the opportunity to penetrate and permeate the material, but does not actually leak and show signs of running or standing water.  This slow but steady sign of water intrusion is an indicator that the moisture level in the soils surrounding your home may be high enough to be causing structural damage.

If you see signs of efflorescence in your home, chances are you’ll be able to find other signs of water intrusion or structural damage if you continue looking.  AFS will perform a free visual inspection and will give you a complete report of our findings.  Contact our office today and we’ll schedule an appointment at the time that’s best for you.

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