Efflorescence

Keep an eye out for a whitish powdery material. This chalky substance remains when water evaporates from your floor or walls.

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Efflorescence in your basement is a sign that there are leaks and dampness that need to be addressed. While this is not toxic, it does hide a much bigger problem. It can indicate that water is leaking into your home’s foundation, and this can lead to major problems that impact your home’s structural integrity.

Efflorescence is the crystalline deposits that can be seen in white or greyish spots and outlines. These are salt deposits left behind by water after it evaporates. This chalk-like substance can happen on stucco, concrete, and on masonry. When this is seen in basement walls, this can indicate a moisture problem.

The recipe for basement wall efflorescence is very specific. It has to have three main ingredients for it to exist: salt, an entry point, and a source of water. More often than not, the water source of this problem usually comes from the outside. This can be rainwater, groundwater, or some other type of water that finds its way to your basement foundation, with hydrostatic pressure pushing it against your basement walls and creating efflorescence

While you can easily wipe off the crystalline formations on your basement walls, the damage to your home cannot simply be wiped away. The fact that you have a damp basement indicates a bigger problem, and this is something that can only be handled by professionals. To help address the problem of a damp basement, and to prevent the continued seepage of water into your basement’s foundation, waterproofing should be considered.

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