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Old 01-05-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
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Efflorescence? Or mold? Pictures inside!


Recently bought a house and finished renovating. I am now cleaning out the garage to turn it into a workshop/gym.

There is what seems to me to be either efflorescence or mold around several spots on the concrete floor, and also on one of the concrete walls that has dirt all the way up that side on the outside.

I used a mop and bleach/water mixture and cleaned out the whole garage including the walls. Problem now, there are a few spots that the white substance keeps re-appearing. I cleaned these spots AGAIN with a stronger bleach/water mixture, and it was back the next day.

Do you think it is efflorescence or mold? Is there a clear answer or way to find out besides hiring a company to test it?
















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Old 01-05-2012, 08:20 PM   #2
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Effervescence from water under the slab apparently coming up the cracks.

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Old 01-05-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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That's not mold. If anything it is efflorescence but more than likely a mineral deposit from bleach water.

Tell you what. Keep the bleach on the shelf and clean it again this time using white vinegar. If it blooms again it is efflorescence. Harmless efflorescence.

By-the-way...
Effervescence is what you get when you pour a glass of Pepsi Cola or throw some Alka-Seltzers in a glass of water.

Efflorescence is the result of natural salts in concrete mixed with moisture and rising/migrating to the surface/warmer air in an attempt to evaporate. Basically a mineral deposit-like flowering.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #4
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It is effloresance. They sell cleaners that will help your problem. I would stop using bleach.do a quick google search and you will quickly find all your answers.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies!

I will try white vinegar to clean it out and see what happens. 50/50 water/vinegar ok?

I will search for the cleaners you speak of.

Thanks again guys!
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:12 PM   #6
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Stop the water penetration and the problem will be solved. No amount of any cleaner will help if the water is still entering. It is the water entering that is bringing in the minerals.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Stop the water penetration and the problem will be solved.
...and how would you suppose he could do that?
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:53 PM   #8
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It was a poorly pored floor, improperly back filled and compacted with no vaper barrier under it so there's not much you can do about the moisture that's causing this from coming in.
You can clean it all you want to but it will come back.
It may help to add some gutters add a french drain or regrade around the building.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
...and how would you suppose he could do that?
That would require much investigation. It could be that the entire foundation needs to be dug out and proper drainage installed. Maybe the floor needs to be broken up and fill and drainage installed from the inside. Maybe he just needs a new sump pump to keep up with the water level. Maybe the sewer line is broken and leaking under the slab.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:56 AM   #10
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Efflorescence is harmless to humans, as the salts are carbonates and occasionally sulfates. The material is similar to the mineral deposits you get in caves from water percolating through limestone. Relax, it isn't going to hurt you, and the cost to "cure" the "problem" will definitely put a big dent in your pocketbook. You can sweep it up every so often if you don't care for the appearance.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:22 AM   #11
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In time it will cure itself, until then it should be a non-issue.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:26 PM   #12
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Efflorescence. Short of tearing out the floor, placing a vapor barrier under it, and re-pouring a new floor, there's not much to fix it long term. There are sealers that claim they'll create a vapor barrier on the surface, but I'm aprehensive to believe it would last very long.
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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It will only cure itself if the water goes away. As long as there is water there will be effervescence.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:15 PM   #14
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I wonder if it'd stop if you cleaned it and then did an epoxy floor?

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:54 PM   #15
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I work in the efflorescence capital of the world (hydroelectric dam). There is no economically feasible way (at least for my wallet) to cure your symptoms, however it is structurally a non-issue and can be removed as often as you feel like taking a wire brush to it. It can be cleaned by a mild muriatic acid solution (be careful, it is nothing to mess with!), but adding more water can further compound the problem.

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