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  1. #1
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    Default efflorescence or mold?

    I have never seen efflorescence quite like this before. I don't believe it is mold, as it is dry and when crumbled in my fingers, it reduces to a powder, very much like lime, which is what I think it is. Any comments?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Melville View Post
    I have never seen efflorescence quite like this before. I don't believe it is mold, as it is dry and when crumbled in my fingers, it reduces to a powder, very much like lime, which is what I think it is. Any comments?
    yes it is efflorescence
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    Efflorescence.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  4. #4
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    Thanks Rick


  5. #5
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    You likely know this but it is worth saying

    Efflorescence is caused by moisture in the wall.
    As the moisture evaporates minerals are deposited (left behind) on the surface.

    Why is there moisture in the wall? Poor drainage on the other side of the wall? Water proofing on wall has failed? No water proofing on wall.

    You say it was dry at this time, but you can be certain that the wall is sometimes damp maybe even wet. Could be seasonal wetness.
    Suspect the need to damp proof the wall.

    Is the room dry, damp?
    Where is the evaporated moisture going? Is there a dehumidifier or ventilation to remove the humidity?

    Even though this is not mold, the moisture that caused this also creates the conditions that will allow mold to grow.

    My personal opinion is that more inspectors have problems from failing to find and under reporting water and dampness issues than anything else.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  6. #6
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    You likely know this but it is worth saying

    Efflorescence is caused by moisture in the wall.
    As the moisture evaporates minerals are deposited (left behind) on the surface.

    Why is there moisture in the wall? Poor drainage on the other side of the wall? Water proofing on wall has failed? No water proofing on wall.

    You say it was dry at this time, but you can be certain that the wall is sometimes damp maybe even wet. Could be seasonal wetness.
    Suspect the need to damp proof the wall.

    Is the room dry, damp?
    Where is the evaporated moisture going? Is there a dehumidifier or ventilation to remove the humidity?

    Even though this is not mold, the moisture that caused this also creates the conditions that will allow mold to grow.

    My personal opinion is that more inspectors have problems from failing to find and under reporting water and dampness issues than anything else.
    There you go, taking some small concern like a little moisture and making it seem global / like the sky is falling r-sumthin. Moisture only promotes efflorescence, mold, mildew, rot, termites, & other WDOs, delaminates, rusts, promotes corrosion, breaks down mortar, caulks, paint or most any material with enough time and contaminates air quality. Big deal ! Thanks for the efflorescence re-education.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    There you go, taking some small concern like a little moisture and making it seem global / like the sky is falling r-sumthin. Moisture only promotes efflorescence, mold, mildew, rot, termites, & other WDOs, delaminates, rusts, promotes corrosion, breaks down mortar, caulks, paint or most any material with enough time and contaminates air quality. Big deal ! Thanks for the efflorescence re-education.
    Since I did not elaborate, I felt my first answer could have been reported as efflorescence found at XXX.

    Hope I didn't sound too "the sky is falling".
    But I do think "that more inspectors have problems from failing to find and under reporting water and dampness issues than anything else".

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    There was no moisture in the basement at all, walls were dry, there was not even a hint of musty smell, and there was no ventilation to boot! No windows, dehumidifier, and it has been vacant a shut up for months. I couldn't believe how dry it was, but, we have been in a very dry season. There were no gutter on the house, and some erosion of a frost wall at a crawlspace from water dumping off a main 2 story roof onto a 1 st build out on the crawlspace. There was a large build up of mulch around the foundation, grade was poor, siding was only about 6 inches off the mulch pile. The front porch slab was badly erroded/sunk several inches. The block foundation on this 30 year old house was not in bad shape, slighly discolored and spalded a few blocks from the basement floor. I recommended improving the grade by getting rid of the mulch/spunge, guttering and improving grade with like soil, cutting back the vegetation. I don't believe it needs to go to the extreem of excavating to install drainage.

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  9. #9
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Melville View Post
    There was no moisture in the basement at all, walls were dry, there was not even a hint of musty smell, and there was no ventilation to boot! No windows, dehumidifier, and it has been vacant a shut up for months. I couldn't believe how dry it was, but, we have been in a very dry season. There were no gutter on the house, and some erosion of a frost wall at a crawlspace from water dumping off a main 2 story roof onto a 1 st build out on the crawlspace. There was a large build up of mulch around the foundation, grade was poor, siding was only about 6 inches off the mulch pile. The front porch slab was badly erroded/sunk several inches. The block foundation on this 30 year old house was not in bad shape, slighly discolored and spalded a few blocks from the basement floor. I recommended improving the grade by getting rid of the mulch/spunge, guttering and improving grade with like soil, cutting back the vegetation. I don't believe it needs to go to the extreem of excavating to install drainage.
    I once had this problem with a remodel project, ( a flip ). Split level grade w/ first floor entry in front and lower lever entry in back. The drainge problem was collapsed cement tile along that front elevation - - - 8' down to the foundation. Augered three 2' diameter x 15' deep holes w/ an auger truck and filled them w/ river rock, ( cement truck loaded w/ gravel and a belt / conveyer truck that shot the gravel in place ). French drains of a fashion. That relieved all the water build-up on that elevation. Much easier than digging all that up and installing new.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    To your list of recommendations, I would add having the perimeter drains, drains around the foundation, checked by a drain contractor. This costs about $200 in my area and provides a heads-up to the buyer if there is a collapsed drain or obstructions.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    My personal opinion is that the guttering would take care of the problem completely. Thanks for the alternate ideas though.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    I vote for efflorescence. Last time I saw it that heavy the house had a large hill next to it and the hydrostatic pressure was pushing water through the foundation walls.
    It will take some work on the outside of the foundation to eliminate/reduce the pressure.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    There you go, taking some small concern like a little moisture and making it seem global / like the sky is falling r-sumthin. Moisture only promotes efflorescence, mold, mildew, rot, termites, & other WDOs, delaminates, rusts, promotes corrosion, breaks down mortar, caulks, paint or most any material with enough time and contaminates air quality. Big deal ! Thanks for the efflorescence re-education.
    Garry - Your ranting was a little bewildering to me ? I don't know if you were mocking Rick or what ? I thought what Rick had to say was well worth the time it took for him to type it and the time it took me to read it ? Re-education never hurts anyone, ...... accept for maybe someone's ego ? lol


  14. #14
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    Default Re: efflorescence or mold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Schenck View Post
    Garry - Your ranting was a little bewildering to me ? I don't know if you were mocking Rick or what ? I thought what Rick had to say was well worth the time it took for him to type it and the time it took me to read it ? Re-education never hurts anyone, ...... accept for maybe someone's ego ? lol
    He was just poking at me. No harm was meant or taken.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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