If you found diamonds embedded in your walls, it would be a miracle. If you discover sparkle dust, or efflorescence, it is more likely a sign of water damage. Efflorescence is a white mineral deposit build-up on materials such as brick, concrete, and clay tiles. The crystals are basically salt and other minerals dissolved within the masonry material that have been pulled by water to the surface of brick or stone. When the water evaporates, the minerals are left on the surface. You’ll see a white, powdery haze that feels dry and slightly rough to the touch; you need to call Rainbow International in Windham County to take a look before water damage occurs.
From a structural point of view – “not really.” A bit of discoloration on the surface is unsightly, but it doesn’t compromise the structure. However, if the salt is trapped just beneath the surface of the brick, stone, or block, it can cause further damage because the salt crystals will shrink and swell with wetting and drying cycles. That’s called subflorescence and, through repeated cycles, it can create crystals large enough to cause the surface of the brick or stone to flake or fall off.
When the moisture comes from rain, efflorescence (and subflorescence) are usually manageable. But when it comes from the ground, it’s more powerful because the ground will have an almost constant source of moisture.
The pores in masonry are small enough to create a capillary suction action that pulls water up from the ground. Osmosis action moves the salt from places of greater concentration to those of lesser concentration. Once water is pulled into the masonry by capillary action, osmosis pulls salt out of the masonry and into the water. It is even worse in Connecticut where a lot of salt is spread on sidewalks and driveways to melt ice in winter.
The durability of the brick itself will be compromised. Brick has a very strong outer layer called a “fire skin,” which forms when the clay is fired in the kiln. If that fire skin gets damaged from the action of efflorescence and subflorescence, then that inner body of clay gets exposed. The inside is even softer and more porous than the outside skin, which speeds up degradation. Mortar is typically weaker than the brick around it; mortar is more prone to destruction by salt crystals. If you see this problem, call us for a thorough inspection.
Aside from choosing the best materials for your restoration, design improvements can go a long way toward solving efflorescence problems. Rainbow International aims to correct the original problem and therefore protect the brick from future exposure to rainwater. This could mean adjusting ledges, roof caps, flashing, and window sills so they don’t allow water directly on them.
Any visible signs of water damage require further investigation. Rainbow International is available now to find and repair water damage in your house.
To keep your family home safe, call in the professionals to clean up water damage using the proper equipment, the latest technology and years of experience. Instead of spreading mold and indoor pollution, our experts will seal off undamaged rooms, wear protective clothing to protect your carpets, and work diligently to protect the indoor air quality. Call us at the first sign of water damage or visit our website for more information