Gauteng

35 km East of Midrand - close to the Rietvleidam
Tel: 011 848-2000
Click here to view our Map

  • -25° 58’ 54.03”
  • +28° 18’ 26.84”

General Manager: Leo van der Meer
Sales enquiries: Lorraine Ferreira & Precious Mdluli
Logistics: logistics@apollobrick.com

Western Cape

South of Atlantis between N7 & R27
Tel: 021 572-2551
Alt Nos: 079 769 0063 or 071 542 8436
Click here to view our Map

  • -25° 58’ 54.03”
  • +28° 18’ 26.84”

Chief Executive Officer: Jan Vorster
Sales Enquiries: Yolanda Roos
General Enquiries: Pauline Page

Gauteng (Midrand) 
Tel (011) 848-2000 | Fax +(011) 848-2001 | gauteng@apollobrick.com
Western Cape (Atlantis) 
Tel (021) 572-2551 | Fax (021) 572-2552 | capesales@apollobrick.com

How do I remove the white, powdery substance on my bricks?

Efflorescence on brickworkEfflorescence is a powdery deposit of salts which forms on the surface of bricks and paving. It is usually white but efflorescence can be yellow, green or brown. Efflorescence does not in any way influence the structural strength of clay bricks or pavers. Roman buildings that have been standing for 2 000 years can show efflorescence.

A temporary efflorescence is particularly common on new brickwork and paving as soluble salts are dissolved and transported to the surface of the brickwork and paving by water. The efflorescence on new well fired brickwork and paving may be unsightly, but it will not cause damage unless the brickwork and paving are under-fired or soft-fired (in which case serious efflorescence can cause flaking of the surface of the brick or paver.)

Efflorescence can occur from a variety of sources. Besides the brickwork, soluble salts can originate from the sand, mortar and the water used. Ground waters that are naturally salt-bearing can be drawn into the base of the brickwork and paving.

Remedies

The best removal method is simply to brush off the deposit with a stiff dry bristle brush after the wall has dried out. Collect the removed salts with a dust pan or a vacuum cleaner to prevent the salts re-entering the brickwork. Wetting the wall by methods such as hosing usually dissolves efflorescence back into the brickwork, allowing it to reappear again when the wall dries out.

Acid or alkaline treatments are not recommended as they do more harm than good because they add to the total salt content.

The efflorescence can be removed by washing with a high pressure washer, some builders pre wet the surface with a dilute solution of pool acid prior to using the high pressure washer.

FAQ Category: 

  • Maintaining Bricks