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Crusty, white salt deposits, which are leached to the surface of mortar or masonry as water passes through it. Efflorescence is often seen as a white fluffy deposit of salt crystals on cementitious (e.g. masonry) wall surfaces. Efflorescence depends on the presence of salt and moisture, and the growth of crystals will continue as long as both are present. The salts are present in the mortar, blocks, or concrete structure, and the moisture is usually attributable to some building defect. When emanating from mortar in brick or block buildings, efflorescence will appear as narrow bands corresponding to mortar joints.
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Efflorescence (White Crystal Deposits)
If excess moisture is the cause, eliminate the source by repairing the roof, cleaning out gutters and downspouts, and sealing any cracks in the masonry with a quality caulk or sealant.
If moisture is originating inside the building, consider installing vents or exhaust fans, especially in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas.
If moisture is being driven through the walls from the outside, apply a waterproofing coating to the outside.
Remove the efflorescence and all other loose material with a wire brush, power brush, or low-pressure washing, and then thoroughly rinse the surface.
If the surface is highly alkaline, wash with a mild solution of Hydrochloric Acid.
Painting should be delayed if efflorescence continues.