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Rising Damp Sydney

Rising Damp Specialists White Logo

Rising Damp Sydney

The Rising Damp Specialists
Ask For Jason: 0474 499 309

Eflorescence – Salt Removal – Cocoon

Efflorescence, Salt Removal.

Rising Damp Specialists White Logo

Cocoon Salt Extraction (efflorescence) From Sandstone

WITH SALT COMES DAMAGE

There are two different kinds of efflorescence.

  1. Efflorescence in ceramic tiles. i.e. balconies and walkways
  2. Efflorescence in masonry. i.e. sandstone, bricks and other stones.
 
We treat efflorescence in Sandstone, brick and other stone only. (There are some notes at the bottom of this page marked by “***” if you have efflorescence coming out of the grout between your tiles.

Efflorescence is when salt deposits on the surface of masonry like bricks, besser block, render and concrete. Often, rising damp and salt damage go hand in hand.

To get rid of efflorescence, the salts need to be extracted from the substrate. There are a few methods for extracting salts from steam jetting with a vacuum cleaner chemical treatments and of course cocoon. 

We have decided to use the cocoon system due to its low impact on the masonry and superior salt removal

One of the reasons we did not choose the steam system is because as the salts are diluted by the steam, the force of the steam can push the salts deeper into the masonry during the process. This means there may still be  salts deeper in the substrate that could resurface in the future. 

Chemical salt removal uses harsh substances which can cause damage to masonry, stone, mortar and grout. Not to mention if product is spilt accidentally during the work it could damage surrounding surfaces.

how salt damages walls - efflorescence
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW
 
  • Cocoon has been designed to remove salt from bricks and sandstone (not ceramic tiles).
     
  • If your substrate is covered with paint, then the paint will need to be mechanically removed before the cocoon can be applied.
     
  • Using a sealer on the surface of the masonry will not stop efflorescence. it will actually make the surface of the masonry glue together and the salt will gather just below the deepest point where the sealer had penetrated the masonry and gather there. As the salt crystallises behind the sealer the surface layer with the sealer will break away from the main body of the masonry and you will eventually peel the surface of the bricks/sandstone/blocks (that is held together by the sealer) off in SHEETS! **If someone has sealed your masonry in the past, we CAN get it off in a non-evasive way.
     
  • Did you know that there are some kinds of salts that cannot be removed? In cases like these, the dampness and deterioration of the substrate can continue even after attempted salt extraction. We can do salt testing to determine the salt type and salt quantity in your substrate before we begin.
     
  • If you live in an older area which has below ground walls and a sewer is leaking up the hill then you can have continuous salt entering your walls so even after the salt has been extracted, mineral loaded water can enter your walls during the next rain event.
     
  • Rising damp is often the cause of salt damage and in Sydney a lot of properties are close to salt water which can speed up the damage caused by salts from rising damp.
efflorescence in masonry brick
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After Rising Damp Treatement Sometimes Cocoon is Needed

Cocoon

We extract the salt from deep within your walls by temporarily “cocooning” your wall in a special coating which “sucks” the salt out of your walls.

There are many methods that are used to treat efflorescence in walls and stone features but none actually remove the salt from the substrate like the cocoon process does.

Any system that involves washing the wall or applying a sealer can push the salts back inside the wall which hides the effects until catastrophic damage occurs.

Our system is environmentally friendly and uses cutting edge technology to draw the salts from your walls and stone features reducing the salt content in your walls to below 0.07% which is below erosive levels.

How to remove salt from bricks and stone

What is Efflorescence?

Efflorescence is salt that is pulled into a masonry structure through capillary action where it is deposited inside the small pores of the substrate and on the outside of the structure, leaving it unsightly.

How Does Efflorescence Happen?

Each time moisture enters a masonry structure by capillary action the water transports diluted salts with it. As the walls dry, salt crystals grow.

Why Efflorescence Bad?

The continual action of more salt crystals growing internally (within the pores of the masonry) pushes apart the structure of the bricks, blocks or stone from within. This process causes cumulative damage until finally the substrate is totally disintegrated leaving just grains of sand.

 
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***We do not treat efflorescence in tiles. If you have efflorescence in your balcony or external walkway tiles, the only long lasting way to treat tiles for good is to remove your tiles and retile. After removing the old tiles and screed, apply waterproofing to the substrate before the new tile screed then apply a waterproofing membrane ON the new tile screed and retile. The membrane below the screed is your waterproofing barrier to protect your building, the membrane above the screed is a layer which prevents water entering the screed. 

Efflorescence in tiled walkways and balconies is caused by water entering the screed below the tiles, this water dilutes the minerals inside the screed and when the sun heats the tiles, the water (which now contains the minerals from the screed) evaporates through the grout and the solids which are salts are left behind at the evaporation point at surface. 

If you live near the ocean this problem can be much worse due to a much higher quantity of salt being in the air and covering the surface of your building. When it rains, all the salts which are on the surface are diluted and then go under your tiles. Again, when the sun heats up your tiles the water evaporates leaving salts at the evaporation point. If you live near the ocean you can still get efflorescence build-up on your tiled surfaces EVEN if the top of your screed has a waterproofing membrane simply because of the very high concentration of salt. It is always good to also use an efflorescence blocking additive in your screed.

If you use any kind of penetrating sealer to prevent water from entering your tiles then it needs to be maintained on a regular basis. Any transparent sealer breaks down very quickly in UV light so it is wise to reseal your tiles at least once a year. Regularity of sealing will depend on your situation. Sealing needs to start when the tiles are NEW and have just been laid. If your screed is already damp then sealing over a tiled area with a damp screed below will do nothing. The force that salt crystals exert as they grow is far beyond the strength of any sealer or waterproofing membrane. As salt crystallises it can turn 60MPA concrete into powder, if it can do this to 60MPA concrete then it will most definitely cause a transparent sealer to fail.

You can also use an epoxy grout to seal the grout joints better. We do not repair balconies and external walkways. 

Location

Sydney 
Gold Coast (Coming Soon)
Brisbane (Coming Soon)

Our hours

07:00 – 18.00
Monday – Saturday

Contact us

Phone: 0474 499 309

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