"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Efflorescence
is a white deposit of crystallized salts leached out of masonry.
Efflorescence is not likely to become a structural defect but it indicates that there is a moisture problem and corrective action should be taken immediately.
Never use a muriatic acid solution indoors to remove efflorescence. In most cases efflorescence can be removed by pressure washing or by brushing and plenty of rinsing.




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Signs of Moisture
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Cracked foundation wall. Wet basement. Removing

Wet basement floors, damp areas, efflorescence, rust and wood rot are the result of active leaks and/or high moisture levels.
Some possible causes.
- Cracks in foundation walls.
- Exposed dirt floors.
- Dryer vent not vented to the exterior.
- Faulty sump pump.
- Non-draining/overflowing window wells.
- Inadequate exterior drainage.
- Blocked, dislodged or non-existing weeping tiles.
- Leaking or missing eavestroughs.
- Downspouts, plugged, missing or discharging too close to the house.
Corrective action should be taken if any of the above conditions exists to prevent further damage to the structure.
Signs of moisture.
- Waterstains on basement wall finishings (paneling, wood, drywall)
- Wood rot, mildew or mold
- Damp or wet carpet.
- Rust on baseboard nails.



Efflorescence
- Rust on receptacle outlet box (remove face plate)
- Musty smell.
- Efflorescence.
WARNING.
Never use a muriatic acid indoors to remove efflorescence. Power washing or brushing and rinsing will usually do the trick. There are specialized concrete cleaning products available for tougher deposits.
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