Share this Post
If you have an unfinished basement with bare concrete or block walls, you might notice white basement wall stains that happen over time. You will gradually see an efflorescence, white and sometimes red stains appearing on the walls. This visual warning is chemistry at work.
The Origin of White Basement Wall Stains
During the construction of your home, a waterproof barrier was placed on the outside of your basement walls before backfill was pushed in covering them. That backfill is loose, disturbed soil that contains rocks and will never have the compact density of the undisturbed ground surrounding it. As a result, water tends to fill that area first after every rainstorm.
The backfill soil, along with its rocks, will move with every rainstorm. Eventually, the exterior waterproof material will wear away from the movement allowing groundwater to saturate your basement walls. Rainfall in the Northeast averages about 28 to 62 inches a year so wear and tear of that waterproofing will happen sooner than later.
Unfortunately, sometimes a home construction company may not apply waterproofing at all before filling the outside space around the basement with backfill. That means the discoloration of white and red could appear not long after the construction of your home. There is much shoddy craftsmanship out there, and many of our American Dry inspectors have spotted structures that would never pass building code.
The Chemically Unfolding Properties of Efflorescence
The soil in the Northeast by nature is acidic. The absorption of water and acidic silt (fine dirt carried by water) can lead to the breakdown of lime. Lime is part of the chemical makeup of concrete and acts as the bonding glue in concrete mixtures.
The white powdery staining on inside basement walls is evidence that the breakdown process is taking place. The acidic soil (acid) and lime (glue for concrete) are opposites. They neutralize each other upon contact, and the lime loses its ability to keep the concrete together.
Your house will not crumble instantaneously, but it will form wall cracks, shift the house, so doors and windows will not close properly, and possibly lift the roofline exposing your home overhead.
How to Stop The Destructive Process of Efflorescence?
American Dry Basement Systems can help you get back the structural integrity of your home before it is too late. We use our propriety SuperSlurry (for walls) and SuperCrete (for floors) to help reverse the chemical breakdown of concrete. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free, no-obligation inspection and quote. We will not recommend any of our services unless it is entirely necessary.
Learn More! Get more information about safeguarding your basement from water seepage by reading our other post: WHY DO MY SHEETROCK WALLS HAVE CRACKS?
Call 888-748-2002 to schedule a free appointment with American Dry Basement Systems today!
Adding a sump pump to an existing basement can be a worthwhile project for homeowners who want to improve the functionality and value of their homes. A sump pump is a device installed in a pit or basin in the … Read More
In this article, we will provide you with information on finding the best local basement waterproofing services, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is protected from water damage.
Basement waterproofing cost can vary based on factors such as the type of waterproofing system, the size of your basement, any necessary preparation work, and your location. However, it’s important to remember that waterproofing your basement is a vital aspect of maintaining a healthy and safe home. Investing in professional waterproofing is well worth it, especially when you receive an accurate quote and high-quality installation.
Engineering tabs are made during the basement waterproofing installation. Leaving sections of your floor on the footer is vital to improving the strength of your foundation.