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  1. #1
    Martin lehman's Avatar
    Martin lehman Guest

    Default White stuff on soil

    This is a small bedroom addition onto a 1950's home. It was built in 1995.
    The ground had this with crystal-like stuff covering it. The ground was dry, as we have not had any rain for a while out here in SOCAL.
    Does anybody have any idea what this is, and what causes it??

    Ventilation was sufficent.
    The grade next to home was basically flat.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    I believe thatís basically efflorescence like you would see on concrete being brought to the surface by moisture. The water evaporates and the minerals and salts are left behind as a residue that builds up over time.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,829

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    What did it taste like?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
    Tim Moreira Guest

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    I'll go with the efflorescence.


  5. #5
    Brian E Kelly's Avatar
    Brian E Kelly Guest

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    That look like the area is bare ground with no concrete slab. Around my wood we see that some people have lines this area with lime or another chemical that wicks the mousture. I never climb in these areas for my saftey and health.


  6. #6
    Joseph P. Hagarty's Avatar
    Joseph P. Hagarty Guest

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    Lime spread around the crawl space to control moisture.


  7. #7
    dick whitfield's Avatar
    dick whitfield Guest

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    First guess - dried leaves from a small leaf bush like an azeleza or boxwood.

    Second guess - a ground cover or weed that was built over top off and has lost its color due to no sunlight.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    292

    Question Re: White stuff on soil

    Dick,

    I don't think its vegetation at all although looking at the photos again I could see how you might think it might be. Especially with all of the visible vegetative runners in the area.

    Martin in his original post however said..."The ground had this crystal-like stuff covering it..." I don't think that Martin seeing it firsthand would have mistaken small dried leaves for anything "crystal-like". Only Martin can say for sure though!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,332

    Question Re: White stuff on soil

    I used to see (in SoCA) a white powder in attics. A termite inspector told me it was a silica based medium for termite treatment (or something like that).


  10. #10
    Fred Herndon's Avatar
    Fred Herndon Guest

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    I vote for efforescence. Floor joists have a fair amount of mold growth on them and there is no ground cover or ventilation visible. It looks like the crawl space has been pretty damp during the past but has dried up. I have seen similar, though not as extreme. Hope you were wearing a respirator in there!


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    I was in a crawl with a termite inspector last week and we saw a similar material which he said appeared to be a kind of broadcast (applied like lawn fertilizer) termite treatment as mentioned above. I would be careful crawling around in things that you don't know the chemical make-up of!! It's bad enough doing a crawl when you can't see anything on the soil.

    Eric


  12. #12
    Aaron Flook's Avatar
    Aaron Flook Guest

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    Hello everyone,

    I read all of the posts and I would venture the guess, that is a pesticide granual, or gel bait. Although gel baits can have a crystal-like appearance when dried out, I doubt from the even distrubution that it is gel. Most likely a granual pesticide for termite or ant control.

    Here in Pennsylvania, some of the treatment companies will use diatamatious earth, (unsure of spelling) or other granual pesticides to control crawling insects like roaches and carpenter ants.

    Aaron


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    Aaron,

    Diatomaceous. I put it in my spell check dictionalry. If I get pretty close, it automatically corrects it. As a certified Master non-speller, I love that feature of WORD.

    T

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  14. #14
    Greg D. Dames's Avatar
    Greg D. Dames Guest

    Default Re: White stuff on soil

    Do Plumbers use lime to control moisture? I thought they threw it around after a sewage spill to control bacteria and the gram negative stuff.

    Looks like salt so maybe efflorecence is the right answer saw some on the concret foundation in photo 1.

    Greg Dames


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