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Jazan 03-20-2010 09:39 PM

Interior Brick Efflorescence
My house is 22 years old. Within the last year or so a heavy white deposit has been appearing on the interior bricks of the fireplace. The deposit is on five or six bricks on the right side as you face the fireplace. Someone has told me this is called "efflorescence". Can anyone tell me what would cause this and what I can do about it? And why would it start happening after so many years without any sign of it until recently?

stuart45 03-21-2010 05:48 AM

It's soluble salts in the brick or mortar getting wet and leaching on to the face of the brickwork. Calcium Hydroxide is also a by product of cement mortar and can come out on the face work. However this absorbs CO2 and forms a hard lime scale of calcium carbonate.
Normal efflorescence will brush off, but the bricks must be getting damp to cause this.

Big Bob 03-21-2010 06:24 AM

A++ post by Stuart45..above.:thumbsup:

Look for water intrussion at or above the plane of your roof on your brick chimney. Check Flashing at roof to chimney / mortar may need tuck pointing / cap may need some attention / check for cracks on face of brick.

Jazan 03-21-2010 03:01 PM

Thank You Stuart45 and BigBob
I appreciate your quick and complete responses to my question about the fluorscence coming out on my foreplace bricks. It is apparent from your answers that I need to consult a chimney repair company. Obviously, there is water entering somewhere above my fireplace, even though i have never encountered any actual liquid water. Thanks again for your information and your advice.

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