Efflorescence and the Discoloration of Concrete by P Russell

By P Russell

This unique e-book covers motives, soluble salts, prevention and elimination of discoloration. it additionally presents a record for the practitioner.

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Sample text

All elements of a building should be selected as to minimum salt content, and saturation prevented by sensible stacking and protection of work as it proceeds. When rendering a wall, too much sand or excessive trowelling should be avoided. Unduly strong jointing mortar can lead to fine cracks, through which the alkaline solution may filter and leave its mark. The answer also lies in breaking up the surface by attractive profiling or the imaginative use of panels and exposed aggregate. Above all, care should be taken to ensure that the concrete is of high quality and reliable durability, with attention given to grading of the mix, optimum cement content and effective curing.

Although proprietary materials are available for the removal of mortar stains, there is no chemical which will completely inhibit the effects of a saturated salt solution, even if the wall is sealed by silicone-based repellents. A typical cleaner, stored in plastic or rubber containers, is applied by brush and immediately washed. Coverage of this mild acid is about 20 m2 per 5 litres depending on surface porosity and the thickness and extent of deposits. It will also deal with algae growth and normal atmospheric staining, and there is no residual chemical reaction when it is used either neat or in equal parts with water.

Even when no moisture has been absorbed from mortar during laying, these compounds may still be transferred to the blocks if the partly finished wall is left unprotected during rain, resulting in the formation of white bands. A similar effect is seen if the unit itself is impermeable but the mortar is less so. The chief danger to brickwork from the presence of salts is that of sulphate attack, showing itself as expansion of the mortar or horizontal cracking of the rendering which becomes hollow and falls away.

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