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Old 12-14-2007, 07:59 PM   #1
dkpbxman
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Efflorescence?

Hi folks,
Wondering if you can help. Attached are two pictures, I hope, (one, the red brick backstop behind my wood-stove, and two, a close-up of one of those bricks.)

There are no water leaks or losses of pressure anywhere that I can find. Might water be coming up through the slab somehow?

Is this Efflorescence? If so, what can I do to bring back the "brick" color?

Thanks,
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:23 PM   #2
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Dan, we have an entire thread devoted to efflorescence in the Liberry. Go check it out. What you have there sure looks like it to me

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Old 12-15-2007, 08:25 AM   #3
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Mike2-

I did and it explained a lot. Is this the right product for me? Will it work on fire-brick?

http://www.stonetechstore.com/prodde...od=RSR12%2D24S

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Old 12-15-2007, 09:32 AM   #4
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Dan, We have a StoneTech product guru from their Technical Services group on board with us here. I'll ask George to take a look at this. His advice will be better than mine.
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:54 AM   #5
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Hi Dan -
There is a possibility of the white being effloresence but there are a couple of questions I have.... Did you just install this? has that white been there for a while or did it just start appearing? Is the white material powdery... if you drag you finger across it does some come off? Whats on the other side of the wall?
The reason I ask all this is, looking at your pictures, the grout lines don't show any traces of white, powdery build up. Usually effloresence takes the easy way up through the masonry and thats often grout lines first.
Effloresence can effectivly be cleaned off but if the moisture issue that caused it is not addressed it will just come back. I wonder if you have tested any of the ideas you read about... a simple test area, cleaned with a little household vinegar will at least let us know if an acidic solution has any effect.
Just try one brick that has the white on it. Get it wet with plain water first, brush on some vinegar from the kitchen and gently scrub with a brush. Rinse with plain water let it dry and evaluate. I don't expect total cleaning but if it is effloresence you will notice some difference.
Let me know how it goes -
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:05 PM   #6
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Geoge-

"Did you just install this? has that white been there for a while or did it just start appearing? "

This was on the brick when I bought the house 3 years ago. The house was built in 1971.


"Is the white material powdery... if you drag you finger across it does some come off? "

No. Not with a fingernail but when I used more force with a small cold chisel, I was able to clean off a little area. Should I just break out the 4" grinder with a masonry wheel?( I hesitate doing that because that'll put fine powder all over everything. My wife would kill me. And she knows where my guns are.)


"Whats on the other side of the wall? "

Just a blank wall in the kitchen. The sink and fridge are on the far side of that room.



I tested one brick as you suggested and some, not all, of the white came off.

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Old 12-15-2007, 01:37 PM   #7
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It's kinda odd to see it going randomly across some bricks and not across others. And the dark areas on the other bricks have me thinking that this is just a really bad cheap '70s attempt at giving the brick "character". And, as George said, if it really was efflorescence, the grout would be involved.

Definitely don't grind the brick unless you know the brick. Many types of brick will start to crumble over time if you break off the surface layer (of the clay, not your funny blotches).
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:52 PM   #8
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Hi Dan -

I think we have enough info to make a stab at this... Its been just like that for three years and the grouts not involved, interior wall with no moisture issues... I think that if you were to take after it with some paint stripper you might just do some good.....
There is a huge market for reclaimed brick...but its expensive.... knock down an old wall, clean off all the old mortar and stack 'em. People pay premium dollars for those as compared to brand new, fresh out of the kiln red bricks, which don't have the same appeal design-wise... So the brick manufacturers started "antique look" or "used look" bricks...a little whitewash, a little black smear and there is your used brick look. I think thats what we are looking at here... The vinegar wash I talked about earlier would probably do nothing to these bricks...make 'em smell like salad maybe....
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