Term Definition

Efflorescence is a white, powdery substance of soluble salts that appear on the face of bricks or concrete as moisture travels through masonry; the salts remain as a residue on the surface once the moisture evaporates. This residue is harmless and can be removed with a stiff brush and water.

Efflorescence can be, however, an indication of rising damp, a destructive process where moisture from the ground is drawn up (or wicked) into a masonry wall if the wall is not protected with an intervening layer of impervious material, such as slate, tile, building felt, or metal. An experienced masonry contractor should be consulted to determine the best way to correct rising damp.

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