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Salts On Brickwork


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19 replies to this topic

#1 daiking

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 07:35 AM

I've a load of salt deposits in my brickwork. The building inspector intimated it was due to the (dredged) sand used in the mortar.

Is there anything to be done other than frequent jet washing?

(This so doesn't bother me but I'm posting whilst I remember)

#2 declan52

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 08:22 AM

You can use brick acid but it will come back. It will all seep out eventually and disappear over a few years.

#3 ConstructionChannel

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 08:26 AM

Yup jus keep washing it an wait. It often comes out of certain types of bricks. If it somehow stains you coul use acid but if it is just fluffy salt on the surface water will be fine.

#4 Nos

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 09:43 AM

Am I wrong? I was many years ago told that the salts were "Saltpeter" and was a major ingredient in dynamite :o Nos

#5 tony51

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 10:05 AM

Some bricks have a higher than normal salt content, and this appears as white deposit when the brickwork dries out.
Personally I wouldn't suggets washing it as the salts will go into solution and be re-absorbed by the brick.
Use a stiff bristle brush (not wire brush) to get rid of the worst areas, but after a couple of years they will gradually disappear.

#6 cjard

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 10:11 AM

I've been told that bricks getting wet/frogs full of water as they're being laid/being laid wet exacerbates the problem.. Not that it helps you now, but if you're ever laying bricks, it may pay to keep them dry..

#7 tonyshouse

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 10:45 AM

Yes well washing will not help that much, likely bricks were wet when laid, the salts sodium nitrate is water soluble so will keep coming out til bricks are dry.

I prefer brushing or hoovering off when dry in the summer can take several years but will go eventually.

#8 ferdinand

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 11:05 AM

I'm not that convinced by "will go away eventually", and that it will then stay away. How do you know it won't come back?

I bought a 1913 house in 2013 that had efflorescence along an outside cavity wall at about (I guess) 2-3 ft up. The house did not have a damp problem.

It had been empty for a couple of years, but unless the soluble sodium nitrate had managed to survive 100 years in brickwork that dried out then, then redissolved into whatever it was a century later, I don't see the mechanism that will stop it for ever.

I'd say it will stay away while you keep it heated (was that what you meant, Tony? ) , but ultra-insulation might exasperate the issue.

An argument for white bricks or render :-) ?

Ferdinand

Edited by ferdinand, 09 March 2016 - 11:06 AM.


#9 temp

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 12:06 PM

When I looked into bricks for our house I was advised to choose only "low efflorescence bricks" for this reason.

I was told that if it appears the best solution is to leave it alone and will eventually weather away/stop. Opinions vary but apparently if you try and pressure wash bricks you can make it worse.

There is lots of info out there. This suggests cement based mortar is worse than lime based for this...

https://www.masonryi...org/pdf/612.pdf


#10 daiking

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 12:12 PM

Its is only obvious on the exposed face on the extension - indicating the fault of rain and the mortar was cement based from the materials I saw. Whether the sand is also an issue (whatever was cheap and merchant supplied) I don't know.

I certainly won't be doing anything about it anytime soon.

#11 curlewhouse

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 12:59 PM

View PostNos, on 09 March 2016 - 09:43 AM, said:

Am I wrong? I was many years ago told that the salts were "Saltpeter" and was a major ingredient in dynamite :o Nos
No, your not wrong - well sodium nitrate (also known as saltpetre) can indeed be used in the manufacture of gunpowder, but it's also used in corned beef as a preservative. Don't worry, your wall won't blow up! ... though that would solve the efflorescence problem :D

#12 tony51

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 02:18 PM

View Postferdinand, on 09 March 2016 - 11:05 AM, said:

I'm not that convinced by "will go away eventually", and that it will then stay away. How do you know it won't come back?

I bought a 1913 house in 2013 that had efflorescence along an outside cavity wall at about (I guess) 2-3 ft up. The house did not have a damp problem.

It had been empty for a couple of years, but unless the soluble sodium nitrate had managed to survive 100 years in brickwork that dried out then, then redissolved into whatever it was a century later, I don't see the mechanism that will stop it for ever.

I'd say it will stay away while you keep it heated (was that what you meant, Tony? ) , but ultra-insulation might exasperate the issue.

An argument for white bricks or render :-) ?

Ferdinand
For brickwork of that age to keep showing efflorescence, it suggests some on-going damp problem, or water penetration from somewhere.

#13 brickie

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:54 PM

View Posttony51, on 12 March 2016 - 02:18 PM, said:


For brickwork of that age to keep showing efflorescence, it suggests some on-going damp problem, or water penetration from somewhere.
Or that it was re-pointed with a strong cement mortar & that patch of wall was wet at the time.
I'm no expert but if efflorescence never 'went away eventually', then it would be all over buildings built in cement mortar from the 20's,30's & so on,as the conditions which bring it about now certainly would've been around then.

#14 tonyshouse

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 09:00 PM

Ferdinand said For brickwork of that age to keep showing efflorescence, it suggests some on-going damp problem, or water penetration from somewhere.

This could be moisture breathed out from inside the house too

#15 readiescards

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 09:35 AM

Salting on my new brickwork, very unhappy about it. I wonder if it was because the builder left the brickwork, blockwork & insulation open at the top of the part constructed walls - would that be why the wall shows signs of being soaked through before the salt appears on drying?

Suffice to say I am very, very sadden by it :-(


Posted Image

#16 declan52

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 09:49 AM

I assume that there is dpc built into the catnic. Check to see if there are weep holes along the perp joints to allow rain water to escape. If there are no holes the rain will just lie there soaking into the bricks bringing the salts out.
Are the bricks being covered everyday day with dpc???
Can you take a close up pic of the soldier course on an opening.

Edited by declan52, 24 April 2016 - 09:50 AM.


#17 readiescards

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 04:12 PM

Posted Image


Yes there are little red drain holes (not sure if they are clear though)
The brickwork is suppose to be covered up all the time - as requested by myself and Xtratherm - but I'm not 100% sure it actually is

Paul

#18 readiescards

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 03:24 PM

Went to site during the weekend and the new bricks and insulation exposed or covered in just a bit of sacking - so very easy for rain to get into the cavities luckily not much rain this weekend though I think the damage has already been done.
Still mega annoyed.

#19 joe90

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 03:27 PM

Did you say you used catnics ?, I was planning brick arches like that but self supported

#20 readiescards

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 03:31 PM

catnics used in some places in the building but the arches are self supporting - I believe I did not physically do the bricking