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what is the white fluffy crystal type stuff coming from my house bricks?
Dec 24, 2006 by julie | Posted in Maintenance & Repairs
my bricks are also begining to crumble with it, what can i do to stop it?
Keep cleaning it off, it's salt out of the sand used in the mortar mix. It will stop eventually.
Misc.salts leaching from the mortar
it could be Creosote highly toxic. you need to grind your mortar and fill the cracks.
Probably salt of some description, I would brush it off, but if they are crumbling badly you may have to have those bricks replaced.
The white stuff you refer to is called 'efflouresence' and is simply the salt that is disolved in the mortar and the bricks coming to the surface as the water in the bricks and mortar evaporates. This is often caused when the bricks are left out in the rain for a prolonged period before being laid.
If your bricks are crumbling, I would suggest that they are a 'soft' brick or have been subject to wetting and many freeze/thaw cycles. You may need a damp course installing or further investigation into the cause of the brick failure.
its just salt coming out of the clay.don't wash it down it will just go back in.the best thing is to wire brush it, keep doing it everytime it appears,until it stops.
Im a mason contractor. its called efference, It is a chemical reaction to the lime in the mortar and the tools we use to make the joints. ( striking) if it was struck to early and in cold weather it comes out. To make it go away, try some custom masonry cleaner, mix with water and apply with a scrub brush, use a lot of water on the area first, and rinse within 5 min or so, that should takes care of it.
It is crystalised salt from the sand that was used to make the cement. A builders merchant can reccomend something for you.
Interesting, Gasbag. Why would you have creosote in mortar?
salt. if you look at houses that are recently built you will also see the white marks on them.
VOTE for Tetanus Tim, He is the most correct.
Since the bricks are already crumbling, its not brand new construction. There is a water problem there where it is happening. When you replace the bricks, you must address the problem, the source of the water, because you should try to keep your bricks dry most of the time, especially in the winter and spring and fall when nights are freezing, and daytime not freezing.
In old brick walls Efflourescence is only a symptom of a water problem. Bricks "Spalling" (crumbling or flaking off) comes from "Freezing and Thawing" of that water content, and is the ultimate water damage, the ultimate enemy of bricks, perhaps the only enemy of bricks. Water getting onto / into the bricks in the cold months, is the source of the problem.
Find out the source of that water, redirect it to keep it off the bricks. Maybe the evestroughs are clogged and overflowing, maybe the soil or ground surface level was raised so the bricks are soaking up moisture from soil, maybe a pipe was leaking, maybe someone is shovelling snow against the brick wall (and the snow melts into the bricks then freezes overnight).
You could prevent water getting onto the new bricks, or you could use very high density, "frost-proof" bricks to replace those ones, if you want lasting durability in that spot.
In cases of brand new construction, efflourescence is simply the excess salts, calcium-carbonate, leaching to the surface, and it can be washed off and after 1/2 year stop appearing anymore.
Give it a good coating of sealant...
Why would lime seep from the mortar in my downstairs fireplace after 30 years.?
Aug 17, 2007 by Placida | Posted in Maintenance & Repairs
The fireplace downstairs is easily 30 yrs old. I bought the house 25 years ago and the basement was fully finished with a professionally installed brick fireplace. There has been no problem with moisture until last year in the winter it was noted that the mortar in the last row of bricks closest to the floor was seeping lime crystals from between the bricks. The house is empty most of the winter and the temperature is kept at 60 F..
All cement products do this when they get older. They say that concrete gets harder for 20 yrs after it is installed, then it starts the other way and starts getting softer, lime crystals may be part of that process!
Help my home is falling apart! I'm getting condensation in between the glass of my double glazing, upstairs
Feb 17, 2008 by julie | Posted in Other - Home & Garden
& downstairs, can i fix this myself? i keep getting condensation on my windows, even though i keep the house ventilated. my bricks are crumbling away with white crystal coming out of them, it looks like my damp proof course is cracking up! I get alot of water hanging around when it rains. could they all be conected? who could i get to check these problems out?
Some of it sounds connected. The condensation on the windows is an indication the humidity inside your house is too high. If you have a humidifier on your furnace, turn it off. If you are getting water in your basement, it could be evaporating and causing high humidity in the house. This might be remedied with better grading around the outside of your house to let the water drain away before it is absorbed by the ground. Also, check to make sure your gutters and downspouts are working properly. Sometimes it's as easy as putting extensions on your downspouts to get the water a little farther from the house.
Look in the phone book for 'basement waterproofing'. Be careful though, some of these guys try the most expensive solution first, so be sure to get several bids. Also, you might have a master plumber take a look. This probably isn't a plumbing issue, but master plumbers are pretty good when it comes to hunting down water issues.
Why are these home makeover people so obsessed with candles?
Apr 06, 2008 by Lady Felicity Pamper McFud | Posted in Other - Home & Garden
Every time without fail there are rows of candles placed around the newly made-over abode. Having transformed a mediocre semi-detached brick house using MDF and a hotch-potch of colour-coordinated accessories, the finishing touch is always a row of candles. Candles on the fireplace, candles along the side of the bath, candles on the bedside table. (This generally has me doing a Ronnie Barker and saying "Four candles")
Is there no electricity in these homes? Can't they have crystal chandeliers like the rest of us?
As my illustrious contemporaries, point out the luminecence of such is pitiful to say the least.
Personally I like to dip the heads of the local orphange children in wax, drawing their hair upwards to form a wick.
Once lit the brightness offers a much more rewarding glow.
Added to that, they are obviously extremely mobile.
Ammonia cystals in the kitchen above cooker in house were looking to buy, is this a bad thing?
Mar 27, 2008 by wooperpooper | Posted in Maintenance & Repairs
Hi there, we are looking to buy a house that we have seen.
In the kitchen, above where the old cooker was there are ammonia crystals on the wall? The owner has said this has been caused by the smoke from the old cooker getting into the bricks and over time it has produced these crystals, that basically you can wipe down or treat. Has anyone heard of this and know whether it is serious, can it spread, or can it be treated?
Many thanks in advance for any information!
i wouldn't worry about it i would believe the owner i am sure you can wipe them down or get rid of them some way.if you like the house that much go for it .your going to have the house inspected anyway so ask the guy who is inspecting the house i am sure he can tell you how to remove them.