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March 16, 2017 • Mike Huber

How To Remove Efflorescence From Concrete Pavers In 6 Easy Steps

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HOW TO REMOVE EFFLORESCENCE FROM CONCRETE PAVERS IN 6 EASY STEPS

Efflorescence is the migration of salts to the surface of pavers. While this is a normal and natural occurrence in all concrete products (and, in most cases, will disappear over time), there is a way to speed up the removal of those white spots! In this blog post, we’ll explain the how, when, and why of using an efflorescence cleaner.

Photo Credit: HGTV.com


 

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Efflorescence cleaners are used to remove efflorescence deposits on the surface of concrete materials. Removing efflorescence will effectively enhance the pavers, giving them a more clean and vibrant appearance, without damaging the surface.

(Need to know more? Be sure to read our blog post 8 Facts About Efflorescence!)

Generally, it’s recommended to wait about 60 days before applying an efflorescence cleaner on new pavers or concrete. Since it’s difficult to determine the potential severity of efflorescence in pavers, it’s best to let the pavers breathe and partake in this natural process. It’s also important to note that even after cleaning, efflorescence may come back in the future. In which case, you’ll have to clean again.

When it comes to sealing pavers, efflorescence cleaning is an absolute mandatory step! This is for several reasons:

  • It's important to remove any efflorescence from the surface of the pavers because sealing over efflorescence will trap it on the surface until the sealer itself wears off.
  • It will also remove stains, dirt, and debris that will ultimately affect the integrity of the sealer if they get trapped underneath.
  • The sealer will be able to get a deeper penetration into clean pores and form a stronger bond to the material being sealed.

How To Prep
Before using an efflorescence cleaner, you’ll want to follow a few simple preparation tips.

  • Make sure that your cleaner is compatible and safe to use on the pavers. Research what the paver manufacturer recommends for cleaning products and then test a small patch in an inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire job.
  • Protect anything nearby that can be affected by the chemicals in the product you’re using.

How To Clean
Using an efflorescence cleaner is generally simple. You’ll want to carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This includes diluting according to the specified ratios and using the recommended tools and application techniques.

Our Gator Efflorescence Cleaner can be applied in SIX EASY STEPS:

STEP 1 Dilute the efflorescence cleaner with water. The ideal mixture is four parts water to one part cleaner. (Remember to test a small patch prior to cleaning the entire surface!)

STEP 2 Wet the paver surface with water.

STEP 3 Blow off any excess water that may have ponded in low areas. The surface should be wet but not puddled.

STEP 4 Use a watering can to apply the diluted product on the wet paver surface. (Five gallons of mixed cleaner will cover about 200 square feet.) Make sure you are applying a sufficient volume of cleaner to the surface.

STEP 5 Wait one minute for the product to react and then agitate the cleaner on the surface using a hard bristle brush. Work in 50-200 square foot sections at a time, depending on conditions.

STEP 6 Rinse each section thoroughly with water using a pressurized hose before moving onto the next. All traces of foam should be completely removed. (Note: Never let the cleaner dry up on the paver surface!)

Repeat the process until the entire surface is completely free of debris and/or stains. (Note: It may be necessary to allow the surface to dry to see if the efflorescence has been completely removed.)

Remember, efflorescence is a natural occurrence in all concrete products. However, using an efflorescence cleaner can help ensure your pavers keep looking vibrant and fresh!

For more info on this topic, check out the Top 5 Things You Need To Know About Getting Rid Of White Haze On Your Pavers.