fbpx

Efflorescence

Efflor, Efflo – What? Efflorescence

Click here to Contact us for a Free quote or call @ 352-282-2886

Is there a “whitish cloud” covering your beautiful new patio? Before you pick up the phone to complain, we urge you to read this. The white haze you’re seeing is called paver efflorescence and while it may be ruining the appearance of your patio, paver efflorescence is completely natural and is not damaging your pavers in any way. Paver efflorescence, also known as ‘calcium hydroxide’ or ‘free lime’ can occur a few weeks after the installation of your pavers and is much more common than you may believe.

Click here to Contact us  or call @ 352-282-2886

Efflorescence (which means “to flower out” in French) is the dissolved salts deposited on the surface of a porous material (such as concrete or brick) that are visible after the evaporation of the water in which it was transported. The moisture that creates efflorescence often comes from groundwater, but rainwater can also be the source. Efflorescence alone does not pose a major problem, but it can be an indication of moisture intrusion, which may compromise the structural material.

There is a chance that after a few weeks or months pass, a white haze may appear on the surface of your pavers. This is known as efflorescence. It may appear randomly or in certain areas and will be more pronounced on dark color pavers. The white haze may give the impression that the color is fading. When wet, the Efflorescence seems to disappear and the color of the pavers is enhanced. When dry, the white haze reappears. There’s no reason to be concerned that your pavers are damaged or defective. The concrete pavers are experiencing a natural process that occurs in all cement-based products. But the condition will usually correct itself with time and exposure to the elements, again Wait 30 Days before sealing. All concrete products contain cement, which contains calcium. Although concrete pavers are solid, strong and very dense, they contain millions of microscopic capillaries that run from the interior to the surface. During wet weather, moisture enters these microscopic capillaries and reacts with the calcium to form calcium hydroxide. As the stone dries, the water riser to the surface. At surface, the water evaporates while the calcium hydroxide reacts with carbon dioxide to create calcium carbonate (the white haze).

Sealed pavers cannot breathe properly causing the pavers top turn the milky white.

Efflorescence will stop when the supply of calcium hydroxide is exhausted. Over the years, the efflorescence that does occur will also be washed and worn away by rainwater and wear and tear.

Click here to Contact us  or call @ 352-282-2886

What is it?

Efflorescence may also be referred to as calcium hydroxide or free lime. This is a completely natural occurrence Efflo is a whitish haze that appears on the surface of concrete pavers within a few weeks or months of installation. Efflo may also be referred to as calcium hydroxide or free lime. Efflorescence is a completely natural occurrence. It usually occurs in random areas throughout all types of concrete pavers. However, it may appear more pronounced on dark-colored pavers. But don’t worry. Despite the fact that it gives pavers the appearance of fading, it does not affect the structural quality of the pavers.

Why does it happen?

All concrete products contain cement. As the cement hydrates, it produces lime or water-soluble salts, such as calcium hydroxide. The calcium hydroxide is soluble in water and therefore migrates to the surface of the concrete pavers through capillary action. When the calcium hydroxide reaches the surface of the pavers, a chemical reaction occurs with the carbon dioxide in the air. As it reacts with the carbon dioxide, the calcium hydroxide forms a water-insoluble calcium carbonate. The calcium carbonate creates the whitish haze on the surface of the concrete pavers. As the moisture evaporates from the surface of the pavers, the whitish haze becomes more pronounced. And as naturally as the efflorescence appeared, it will fade.

Efflorescence will most likely disappear within the first year of installation… Most concrete paver manufacturers have attempted to control the problem of efflorescence by using an admixture in their products. However, no manufacturer has completely eliminated the problem.

Should you have brick pavers sealed right after installation?

DO NOT SEAL PAVERS SOONER THAN 4 WEEKS AFTER INSTALL IN FLORIDA!

Click here to Contact us  or call @ 352-282-2886

Sealing pavers prior to allowing them to breathe and the opportunity to release any efflorescence that may be within each individual brick paver will cause that whitish haze.

If you do have them sealed right after installation, that sealer can prevent the calcium carbonate to evaporate into the air, and the sealer will trap that white haze into the pavers, leaving you with a very unsightly mess. Most reputable brick paver installation companies know about the efflorescence process but will still offer sealing services in order to put a few hundred more dollars into their pockets. We have had our customers tell us that once the efflorescence was trapped under the sealer, brick paver installation companies will tell the homeowner that it is a natural process and they are not responsible for the efflorescence and it is not covered under warranty. However, often times, the brick paver manufacturers who abide by ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, www.icpi.org) standards or offering free replacement pavers for each individual brick paver affected by this process. This will also benefit the paver installer who now will charge you to remove the affected pavers, and install new!

Costing the homeowner more money. Don’t be tricked by these brick paver installers that offer sealing services immediately after installation for a discounted price. You may end up spending 3x the amount to have the sealer stripped, efflo chemically removed and re-sealed the right way.

Click here to Contact us for a Free quote or call @ 352-282-2886

Eliminating Efflo

Most producers of pavers put chemical additives in the concrete to reduce the likelihood of efflorescence. In most cases, these additives do the job. Completely eliminating the chance, however, isn’t possible because it’s a natural byproduct of hardened concrete. It will stop when no more calcium hydroxide is available to more to the surface. There are cleaners available that can remove efflo. These will enhance the natural beauty of your concrete paver product.

Frequently asked questions.

Q: When will efflorescence stop?
A: Efflorescence will stop when the supply of calcium hydroxide is exhausted. Over the years, the efflorescence that does occur will also be washed and worn away by rainwater and wear and tear. If you live in an area of frequent rain and sunny days, efflorescence and its passing may occur quickly. The process may take much longer in drier climates.

Q: Will efflorescence go away naturally?
A: Since many factors are involved in its formation, it is difficult to determine when efflorescence will stop. Just as it appears naturally, efflorescence will eventually disappear. Over time, rainwater can wash and wear it away, please note that it is necessary for wetting, and then drying, to occur before efflorescence will be drawn out of the stones. During arid periods, watering the driveway using a sprinkler can help expedite the process. Often times, here in Florida for example, this time frame can be as short as 2 weeks in the rainy season, and as long as 8 weeks during droughts or winter times.

Q: Can efflorescence be removed without the wait ?
A: Yes. Although efflorescence will eventually go away naturally, there are commercial cleaners available that are specifically formulated to remove efflorescence from the surface of the concrete pavers. However, these cleaners will not prevent additional efflorescence from occurring if you use them too early or in an incorrect manner, you have to use them exactly as described to avoid making them worse or creating a new problem on top of your existing one. If you only want to clean the pavers once (say before sealing them), we recommend you wait approximately 10 rainfall/drying periods before you even clean the surface deposits as most of the efflorescence should occur by then. Please note that it is necessary for wetting, and then drying, to occur for efflorescence to be drawn out of the stones. During arid periods, watering the driveway using a sprinkler can help expedite the process.

Wait 30 days before having your pavers Sealed.

When all else fails Hire us to bring the life back into your pavers.

Use our contact Page and we can get you on the right track.   

Click here to Contact us for a Free quote or call @ 352-282-2886

Our Mailing Address is

8501 Philatelic Dr.

Spring Hill, FL 34611-6894

Call Now