Basement Efflorescence- That Scary, White Powdery Stuff Explained

December 21, 2018 • Prevention

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Efflorescence is often mistaken as mold growth by New Jersey home and business owners. Both efflorescence and mold occurs in damp environments and present similar growth characteristics. While efflorescence is not mold, it is an indicator of damp conditions that can be conducive to mold growth if the moisture source is not properly addressed in a timely manner.

What is Efflorescence & Why Is It In My South Jersey Basement

Efflorescence is that suspicious looking white, powdery substance that you might see developing on your foundation walls. Efflorescence is often mistaken as mold growth by New Jersey home and business owners. Both efflorescence and mold occurs in damp environments and present similar growth characteristics. While efflorescence is not mold, it is an indicator of damp conditions that can be conducive to mold growth if the moisture source is not properly addressed in a timely manner. Efflorescence occurs when water or water vapor travels through your foundation walls. Water carries soluble salts and minerals to the interior surface of your masonry walls. These salts and minerals are then deposited on the surface of your foundation walls when the moisture evaporates, leaving behind a crystalline like structure.

It is important to understand that efflorescence is a sign of underlying water intrusion that could eventually create the ideal environmental for mold growth. If you notice efflorescence buildup in your South Jersey basement or crawl space, you should address the underlying moisture issue to prevent additional problems like mold growth and water damage.


What Causes Efflorescence In South Jersey Properties

Moisture intrusion through your foundation walls causes efflorescence. Water carries water soluble salts and minerals. When the water on your foundation walls evaporate, it will leave behind salt deposits. Identifying the exact source of the moisture intrusion can be difficult:

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  • Ground Water Saturation– Capillary action can draw ground water from wet soil into masonry building materials.
  • Vapor Drive– Moisture vapor will naturally move from the warmer side of a barrier to the cooler side. For example, when the sun hits a water saturated wall, it drives the moisture inward.
  • Rain Water– Whether it is a leak or seepage, excess moisture during periods of rain increases the risk of water intrusion through your foundation walls.
  • Sprinklers / Artificial Water Sources– Occurs when sprinklers saturate an exterior wall, causing water to enter the wall and later retreat, carrying salts to the surface.
  • Water Vapor– Airborne moisture forced through masonry walls can provide sufficient moisture to cause efflorescence. For example, during the winter months, warm, humid indoor air will move towards the cool exterior. Water vapors can settle on your foundation walls and leave behind efflorescence.

This is just to name a few common events that can cause efflorescence buildup on your basement or crawl space walls. If an underlying moisture issue is leading to additional issues like mold growth and water damage, you might need to consult a professional.


Efflorescence and Mold Growth in Your South Jersey Basement

Regardless of moisture source, the underlying water issue needs to be addressed in order to prevent mold growth and additional property damage. Efflorescence itself is not a health problem and is not a major threat to your property.  However, it is an indication of a building structure’s failure to properly prevent moisture intrusion. If efflorescence is present, there is a good chance that mold growth could be problem waiting for your around the corner. If you are worried that damp conditions in your basement or crawl space has caused mold development, you should consider contacting a professional New Jersey basement mold inspector to inspect for possible mold development.

It does note take much for mold to begin to develop in your New Jersey crawl space or basement. If there is an elevated moisture presence in your South Jersey basement or crawl space, you could have the ideal conditions for a mold problem. All those porous, cellulose-based building materials will just invite mold growth once they become damp. If you have mold in your basement or crawl space, you might need to consult a professional basement mold remediation company in New Jersey for help.

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Basement & Crawl Space Mold Removal New Jersey

If moisture issues at your foundation walls has left you with mold growth in your South Jersey basement or crawl space, do not panic. A certified New Jersey crawl space mold removal company can safely and effectively remove the mold and provide the needed insight regarding the underlying moisture problem that caused the efflorescence and mold in the first place. MasterTech’s expert South Jersey basement mold removal technicians are thoroughly trained to properly handle your basement mold remediation or crawl space mold remediation. When it comes to basement mold or crawl space mold, it needs to be addressed promptly and properly to avoid compromising you and your family’s health and safety.

The key to dealing with mold growth is early detection and immediate action. New Jersey home and property owners should regularly assess foundation walls and pay close attention for any signs of moisture intrusion. Routine foundation maintenance and repair can go a long way in preventing water damage and mold growth. If you uncover efflorescence on your foundation walls, you could have a moisture problem on your hands. Address is right away to prevent mold growth and additional damage.

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