Tar Heel Tip of the Week: White Chalky Powder on Your Basement Walls?

Monday, August 1st, 2016 by Jaimie Hooker

Most homeowners immediately assume the white chalky powder on their block basement walls is white mold. However, the majority of the time, this is not the case. Efflorescence is the actual culprit. So, what is Efflorescence? Minerals in the mortar, concrete or soil that dissolve in water and remain visibly behind when the water evaporates off of the surface of the wall.Efflorescence is the white chalky powder on their block basement walls

Unlike mold that is alive, efflorescence is just calcified mineral residue. While it is not harmful and can be simply swept or brushed off, it is a sign of water intrusion through your basement walls.

Many homeowners decide to simply paint over their block basement walls with (waterproof) paint, a decision that simply covers the problem instead of correcting it. Coating basement walls that are suffering from moisture or efflorescence intrusion accomplishes nothing except to make them look better. Over time, the paint will begin to bubble and peel, causing the walls to look worse than before. If not properly taken care of, water may eventually come through your basement walls and floor.

If you home is showing signs of efflorescence in your basement, call our professionals today to have a free evaluation.



About the author
Jaimie Hooker is the Assistant Marketing Director at Tar Heel Basement Systems; authoring case studies, technical papers, creating and captioning photo albums and managing website content. She also oversees the organization of video testimonials, shows and events, Jaimie lives in the small town of Madison, NC with her husband, Paul, and 3 year old son, Franklin.