Stopping Concrete Efflorescence

Concrete efflorescence is a white powder that is is found on the concrete surface. It is caused by the water from underneath the concrete migrating up the slab, once it reaches the top, the water will evaporate and leave salt particles on the surface. The white efflorescence powder will be soft at first but eventually will turn hard.

Efflorescence On Concrete

Efflorescence On Concrete

If the efflorescence is left on the concrete for long periods of time it will eventually start to eat into the concrete leaving the concrete with a lot of divots and pits as you can see in the photo below. The concrete will then have to be repaired.

Concrete With Moisture Problems

Concrete With Moisture Problems

There are two types of sealers we have used that have stopped efflorescence. One type is an epoxy vapor solve product that will basically seal off the concrete completely not allowing the water to escape. This product is best used if you are going to be putting another type of flooring on-top of the concrete that is not breathable such as laminate flooring, VCT, or wood. The epoxy coating can also be used if you want to clean up the look of the concrete if it is going to be left alone. Applying concrete coatings is best left to the professionals because of the proper surface profile needed for the coating to bond properly.

Concrete Epoxy Coating

Concrete Epoxy Coating

The other type of sealer we have used is a cost affective DIY alternative to the epoxy vapor solve product. It is a penetrating sealer that will not change the look of the concrete and will still allow the water to pass through the slab. It is not used if you are trying to completely eliminate the moisture coming through the slab. This type of sealer will only stop the efflorescence from forming. It can be used on concrete and bricks.  The concrete will need to be cleaned and all of the efflorescence removed from the surface before applying the sealer.

The pictures above are of a garage floor that had serious moisture problems. Water was seeping through the concrete pooling in the middle of the garage. Efflorescence was starting to form causing the concrete to pit. We were called to restore the concrete; we prepped the surface and then applied a tinted vapor solve epoxy system followed by a top coat of polyurethane.

Restoring Concrete To Its Original Look

Restoring concrete to its original look can be effectively and efficiently achieved by pressure washing the surface. Over time concrete will absorb oils, mildew will start to grow on the surface, and black grime will get imbedded into the pores. Pressure washing will remove these contaminants by using significant pressure to blast away the dirt and mildew.

When you are using a pressure washer to restore concrete, you must make sure the concrete will not get damaged when pressure washing.  Concrete that is flaking or is weak will be etched by the pressure, this will create an unpleasant look. When the concrete is not in good condition to use a high PSI pressure washer,  you must use detergents to restore the concrete.

Benefits of Waterproofing Concrete

Waterproofing concrete and other masonry surfaces will help prolong the life of the the structure. Water damages concrete by slowly eroding the surface of the concrete; a lot of times you can notice the larger rocks showing in an older concrete sidewalk because the top cream of the concrete has eroded away.

Waterproofing will keep the concrete looking like it first did when it was poured. Waterproofing concrete will help prevent concrete from eroding and becoming pitted adding time to the life of the structure. Waterproofing will also help prevent the rebar in the concrete from rusting which causes the concrete to start spalling off.

Any masonry surface such as: brick, stone, concrete, and cinder block will benefit from applying a waterproofing sealer.

MVL Concrete can help restore concrete and seal the concrete to help eliminate the harm done by water, we offer waterproofing service in San Antonio, Texas.

Waterproofing Concrete

Waterproofing Concrete