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What Homeowners Can Do About Efflorescence

If you have a brick chimney in your home, there’s a good chance you’ve seen efflorescence on it at some point – you just may not have known what it was! Efflorescence is a white substance that builds up on your chimney over time. While it’s not dangerous, it can interfere with the look of your chimney. Here are some key facts to know about efflorescence and what you can do if you notice it on your chimney.

Chimney Repair Coffee, TNFacts to Know About Efflorescence

  • Efflorescence is a deposit of crystallized salt that has a white or grey color when it settles. There are many different types of salts that can cause efflorescence, including calcium sulfate, potassium sulfate, vanadyl sulfate, manganese oxide, and more.
  • Efflorescence forms as a result of moisture in the air settling on or in the bricks and leaving salt deposits behind.
  • Efflorescence doesn’t only form on brick – it can also form on cement or other materials.
  • While efflorescence isn’t dangerous, it can cause structural issues if it builds up in large quantities and isn’t removed.

How To Remove Efflorescence

If you’ve noticed efflorescence on your chimney, don’t worry – there are things you can do to remove it. If you catch the efflorescence right after it has formed, you may be able to remove it easily by using a stiff brush or rinsing it with water. A mixture of water and vinegar can also remove tricky stains. However, if the efflorescence has been there for a long time, the deposit likely won’t come off so easily.

Many people try to remove efflorescence with a power washer, but if it’s particularly stubborn, the water likely won’t be enough to get it off. Using chemical cleaners or a sander will likely remove the white stains, but they could also damage your bricks if they aren’t used correctly.

The most effective way to remove efflorescence is by contacting a professional chimney technician. They will have the tools to remove the efflorescence without damaging your chimney.

How To Prevent Efflorescence

There are ways to prevent efflorescence from building up on your chimney in the first place. Because efflorescence develops as a result of moisture buildup, protecting your bricks from moisture also prevents efflorescence.

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One of the best ways to prevent efflorescence on the inside of your chimney is by installing a chimney cap and a chimney liner.

A chimney cap is made of a thin mesh that lets the smoke escape from your chimney while preventing snow, water and debris from getting inside. A chimney liner covers the entire inside of your chimney to protect the brick.

To prevent efflorescence on the outside of your chimney, it’s important to make sure your roof has proper drainage.
This ensures that snow and water flows off your roof instead of building up around your chimney and damaging the brick.

Do you have efflorescence you want to remove from your chimney? Contact A-1 Chimney Specialist today. Our team of professional chimney sweeps offers inspections, maintenance, and repairs throughout Southern Middle Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley. Give us a call at 931-967-3595 (Tennessee) or 256-285-4895 (Alabama) to schedule an appointment!