8 FACTS ABOUT EFFLORESCENCE
It appears like a thief in the night. Your once perfect paver walkway or patio is now plagued by a mysterious white coating. Before the questions start flooding in, educate yourself (and your clients) on these eight facts about efflorescence.
The word efflorescence is derived from the Latin word efflorescere, which means to blossom out.
In the context of hardscaping, efflorescence is the migration of salts to the surface of concrete pavers or retaining walls (where it later forms that aforementioned dreaded white coating).
Efflorescence does not equate to defective pavers or retaining walls. In fact, it’s a normal and natural occurrence that can happen in any cement-based product.
In many cases, efflorescence will disappear on its own over time (usually after the first year of a paver or retaining wall installation).
Efflorescence can also be removed with special cleaners like the Gator Efflorescence Cleaner.
On average, you should wait about 60 days before applying an efflorescence cleaner. Since it’s difficult to determine the severity of efflorescence in pavers, it’s best to just let the pavers breathe and partake in their natural process.
If you elect to use a cleaner, always test a small patch in an inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire job. And be sure to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Most of the time a single cleaning solves the problem. But remember, efflorescence is natural, and Mother Nature may bring it back later. Simply clean your project again.
The severity and persistence of efflorescence on your project will determine how long you should wait to seal your pavers. While some sealers are “breathable,” sealing pavers can have an impact on the releasing and natural wearing of efflorescence. Give your pavers time to acclimate and go through the natural process of efflorescence. Then worry about sealing. It’s always a good idea to consult with your paver or retaining wall manufacturer as well.
Knowledge is power. Remember that efflorescence is a normal and natural occurrence so be sure to set the right expectations at the front end of the project. Now it’s time to go and share what you know about efflo!