Often you might have noticed a thick powdery substance over your tile and grout. You might have tried to scrape it away or scrub it, but to no avail. Did you think this is due to hard water deposits? Well, no, this is something bigger that occurs from beneath the tile and grout. It is called efflorescence. It is a thick layer of calcium and mineral deposits that arises because of masonry. Here is a detailed guide explaining everything about efflorescence and how to clean it like a professional.
What is Efflorescence?
If you are looking for an exact efflorescence definition, then it is a mixture of mineral deposits such as calcium, mineras, water and cement that appears whitish in color and travels from beneath the tile and grout towards the outer surface through the drain or porous surfaces. This mixture forms when shower installation is not done properly and some water remains underneath the tile. If not removed at the right time, it can clog your drains and crack the tile also. You need a good-quality efflorescence remover that removes the residue without damaging your tile and grout. You can also contact professional services for removal.
What Causes Efflorescence?
Efflorescence is caused when some contractors or tile laymen do not do the installation job well. They leave water below the tile, which leads to serious issues later. This water then mixes with the cement and the other minerals in the concrete and travels in the shower drain via the weep holes. It gradually reaches the top of the tile and grout, leaving a very nasty white residue that settles on the surface once the water evaporates.
Shower efflorescence can also form when water is penetrating from outside into the concrete mud bed. This happens when the tile or grout is not sealed properly. The penetrating water mixes with the minerals and calcium inside the mud bed and then travels to the top of the tile surface again via the drain. You must be aware that this problem is only seen in showers or pool surfaces that are constantly wet and that are made with porous tile such as natural stone tile, wood, brick, concrete, etc. Porous surfaces allow easy penetration of water, both from the top to underneath and vica versa.
Even basements experience a common efflorescence issue because of little or no ventilation and more dampness. Brick efflorescence and pool efflorescence are the next most common problems after showers.
Dangers of Efflorescence:
Efflorescence in showers or bathrooms does not cause any harm to your health, but it does make your interiors look shabby. It does not cause the deterioration of your building structure and nor is it harmful to health. But if not removed immediately, this residue can crack the tile and grout. It can also clog the drains. The occurrence of efflorescence on shower floor tile proves that there is water or moisture underneath your tile and grout, which can cause mold and mildew breeding. If efflorescence has clogged your drains, you might have to undergo expensive repair services.
Is Efflorescence a Problem?
Efflorescence in showers, pools or brick surfaces looks very ugly and unsightly. It not only ruins the aesthetics of your interiors, but also does not make you feel like bathing or swimming in such a surface. It also puts a bad impact on your guests. The white powdery mixture does not mean that your building structure has weakened or is corroding. It is also not harmful to health, but it does indicate that there is a lot of dampness, moisture or water underneath your tile and grout underlayment that can lead to serious repercussions later. You may get mold, mildew or termite breeding in such areas which are damp. When formed in large amounts, it can easily clog the drains and crack the tile, causing expensive repair work later on.
Does Efflorescence Go Away?
Removing efflorescence is not tough. Some people use the sandblasting technique to remove efflorescence. But, this method causes a lot of damage to the tiles surface. Cleaning efflorescence with chemical cleaners is less risky and almost always successful.
How to Remove Efflorescence?
- Tile and grout efflorescence can be removed by using a high-quality shower approved chemical.
- Experts have the proper training and expertise in tackling efflorescence properly.
- For cleaning efflorescence, some laymen might try to scrub it with a sharp tool causing ugly scratches on your surface. Never use a sharp tool to remove efflorescence.
- some people use acidic cleaners to remove calcium deposits from the tile and grout. This may lead to etching on the tile.Refrain from using acidic chemicals.
- You can try using Zido chemical from pFOkUS for its removal. It is a heavy-duty efflorescence removal chemical that attacks the mineral deposits and loosens the bonds. Such chemicals help to remove efflorescence from under the tile also. Only shower approved chemicals should be used which do not harm the tile and grout.
- If you are looking for an efficient efflorescence removal service, then it is better to hire the services of expert efflorescence removal companies to get the best results.
How to Prevent Efflorescence?
Once cleaned, there is no guarantee that efflorescence will not form again. Water can penetrate the surface again and form efflorescence repeatedly on porous substances.After removing efflorescence from grout and tile, you need to take measures to prevent it. For preventing efflorescence again, it is necessary to seal the tile and grout. A good sealant forms a protective layer on the surface and makes it waterproof. It disables the moisture and water from seeping into the surface from outside and also halts the already present water inside the surface to travel outside where it can evaporate. A sealant renders a waterproof shower and also leaves a natural looking sheen on the surface. To prevent efflorescence, first the grout is sealed after cleaning with an epoxy resin grout sealer. After that the tile is sealed using a clear topical solvent based sealer, which forms a protective covering on the surface.
So, follow the above guide for complete information on efflorescence cleaning tips and the best way to remove it.