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The white film, known as Efflorescence, is normal for many masonry products. It sometimes appears on the surface of brick, block or pavers.
It usually is not permanent and will disappear over time.
You can normally brush off the powdery substance using a stiff nylon bristle brush.
Efflorescence is a natural occurrence from the cement hydration process.
Calcium oxide from the cement reacts with water inside the block and forms calcium hydroxide. When the Sun warms up the block, it draws the moisture to the surface bringing the calcium hydroxide to the surface, which reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air to form calcium carbonate, a whitish powdery residue.
When moisture on the surface evaporates, it becomes visible. It can usually be washed off or will wear off over time.
Not all white residue is efflorescence. Sometimes you may have a hard, crusty spot or streaking on the block.
This is Lime Run.
Lime streaks occur primarily during new construction when grouted CMU are exposed to inclement weather cycles.
This weather pattern dissolves the free lime in the mortar. As the CMU wall dries, the free lime then migrates to the surface of the CMU block and forms crystalline lime run.
It is more difficult to remove than efflorescence.
Another issue is Hard Water Deposits.
Typically caused by incorrectly adjusted sprinkler heads, hard water deposits are a result of the minerals in the water being left on the surface of the block once it has dried out.
We do have products available that aid in the removal of efflorescence, lime run and hard water deposits.
Please call us for more information on these cleaners.