White Spots on Concrete | CAUSES & REMOVAL TIPS

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The white spots on concrete patio, floor, after rain, pavers, after pouring, countertop, after sealing, basement floor, sealer, and garage floor are known as efflorescence.

Efflorescence is water permeating up through concrete and dragging wit it minerals from the concrete (mostly salt and calcium). The water it leaves then evaporates, leaving only minerals behind.

This typically happens if soil under the concrete gets plenty of water in it. To stop it, simply clean it with a concrete cleaner, such as Prosoo’s safety Klean product.

Once the efflorescence is cleaned away, you’ll be faced with two choices:

  • You either leave the concrete unsealed and observe closely to see if the efflorescence will mitigate over time or not, OR
  • You can seal the concrete with a high-quality sealer such as DuPont’s Stone Teach Concrete Sealer.

By sealing the concrete, you make it waterproof BUT it could also change the concrete’s color and you MUST reapply the sealer frequently depending on how much sun exposure it gets (every 2 years is recommended).

Table of Contents

What are White Spots on Concrete Surface?

The white spots you see on your concrete is called EFFLORESCENCE. Basically, it is just salt moved to the concrete in this case. Then the water evaporates leaving the salt and it tends to decrease over time.

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White Spots on Concrete

What Causes White Spots on Concrete?

Snow, Rain, and water are the main sources of moisture and may result in different degrees of efflorescence. Interior activities, groundwater wicking, and condensation activities also may affect the degree of moisture generation.

In different cases, efflorescence may happen when a house is under construction. When masonry units are left out overnight during construction, they absorb moisture from rain and damp soil. It is typical for masonry units to be covered and left in pallets to minimize the risk of efflorescence throughout a construction project.

How do You Remove White Spots from Concrete

Here are the easiest ways to remove efflorescence:

  • Pressurized Water

By applying pressurized water, you can make the efflorescence dissolve fast. If you use water, dry off the water from the building material after application. If you do not take out the water, crystals may remain that can lead to the efflorescence reappear.

  • Diluted Vinegar

Try some diluted white vinegar. It’s safer than industrial chemicals and chances are, you already have it at home.

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  • Brushing

Using a strong brush, you should brush and remove efflorescence with no sweat. It is easy and really effective. In fact, since efflorescing salts are water-soluble, they may leave on their own due to the weather.

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STRONG BRUSHES TO TRY

To clean efflorescence off brick, we recommend you do this task in warm, dry weather. At this point, moisture may bring extra salts to the surface of brick, and the salts can be gotten rid of by brushing using dry, hard brush.

Clear water repellants, acrylic coatings, and silicone also can aid in the removal of efflorescence as well. The coating will absorb water across a masonry surface and prevent efflorescence from recurring. Additionally, the combination of white wine vinegar and warm water has been shown to get rid of efflorescence.

To apply a coating the correct way, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Rinse the Building Surface

Rinse the building surface water

If it’s an outdoor area, you should use a hose to spray down the surface

But, if indoor, you should try a spray bottle filled with water to rinse the surface deeply.

  • Apply the Cleaning Solution

You need to spray the cleaning solution onto the building surface and let it sit there or at least 30 minutes. Where necessary, it would be fine to apply multiple coats of the cleaning solution to the surface for the best results.

  • Rinse the Building Surface Again

For the last time, rinse the building surface using water. Next, use a fresh, dry cloth to clean the surface. Ensure the surface is dry to minimize the risk of ongoing efflorescence.

Then coat roughly 1/8 in. to ¼ in below the surface of the building material. This will stop water from evaporating and passing through the treated area as soluble salts and vapor.

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How do You Prevent Efflorescence in Concrete

Here’s how to prevent efflorescence:

  • Hydrophobic Sealant

You can apply an impregnating hydrophobic sealant to a building material surface that can prevent the absorption of water.

This sealant too will prevent any water from traveling within a building material.

  • Capillary Breaks

You should consider installing capillary breaks such as polyethylene sheeting between a building soil and material will reduce the chances of salt getting into the material.

  • Quality Masonry Construction

By implementing overhanging eaves, flashing, and copings will reduce the risk of water from getting into the wall.

  • Increased Emphasis on Landscaping and Sprinklers

By paying special attention to sprinklers and landscaping, you can control environmental factors and prevent water from getting to porous building materials.

  • Installing Grout with Mechanical Vibration

Consolidating grout with mechanical vibration will limit the chance of voids in the grout.

  • Leveraging Dense Tooled Mortar Joints

By using dense tooled mortar joints, you can reduce the porous nature of a wall, making it tough for salts to migrate through it.

  • Utilizing Grout Admixtures

Great admixtures, like chemical additives that are designed to improve the flow of a grout mix and reduce its water content simultaneously, may reduce voids in grout.

  • Storing Masonry Materials Properly

Get your masonry materials with protective and waterproof materials while keeping them off the ground is a stop preventive measure against precipitation and groundwater.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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