Leakage getting into basement and causing dampness can be identified using several methods. It is important to give careful attention to the possible water entry points, and for damage being caused by water entering your home. A good sign that there is a basement leak is presence of efflorescence.
Efflorescence occurs as a white chalky substance sometimes seen on walls. It may appear like little whiskers or some ice flakes. In the real sense, it is actually deposits of salts dissolved and carried by water. These are left on concrete or brick after the water dries out. The salts emanate from within the materials used in the building such as the calcium found in concrete.
Efflorescence appearing as white salty substance on the walls of the exterior or interior in your home may be easy to spot after the water dries out. It is common in damp conditions. The efflorescence mainly forms on the lower sections of walls, particularly near the surface of floor, and can cover larger areas.
Apart from being an eye sore, it can cause health problems too. When efflorescence occurs on the inside of walls, with time, it can cause spalling meaning the walls peel and flake off. Efflorescence is also a sign of dampness occurring in your foundation walls therefore, it can indicate some sort of leakage or issues with your basement waterproofing, if it occurs on the inside walling.
Such salts need certain amount of moisture for them to dissolve and be deposited as efflorescence. Your walls have to be quite wet for efflorescence to take place.
Building materials such as masonry, concrete, mortar, and brick contain salts and minerals which are introduced as part of their manufacturing process. Such salts form part of the ingredients used to make the materials. Whenever excess water comes into contact with the materials, such salts can dissolve in the water, and be moved around towards the surface of walls. Eventually when water reaches the wall surface, it will evaporate, dry and leave the deposits of such salts.
For efflorescence to take place, there must be sufficient salts in building materials. Also, there must be sufficient moisture to dissolve the salt. Hence, an interior wall showing efflorescence is a good sign there is leakage or dampness in the basement. In case it occurs on the exterior walls, it could mean there is seepage occurring.
You can possibly get rid of efflorescence by using a stiff brush, sandblaster, or other products. However, this may not be the right way to deal with the problem. It will only solve the aesthetic problem meaning the real issue of dampness that causes efflorescence still remains unresolved. You need to deal with the root cause of the problem, which is dampness.
Aquatech Waterproofing has complete basement waterproofing solutions to tackle any wet basement problem. We will ensure water does not find its way into your basement or foundation walls thus preventing efflorescence and water damage in your home.