What is efflorescence?
Efflorescence is a phenomenon observed in construction where a white, powdery substance appears on the surface of building materials such as concrete, tiles, grout and render. It occurs when movement cracks appear allowing water to access the building materials. Water soluble components dissolved and when the water is evaporated salts and limescale are left behind. Efflorescence is becoming increasingly common in modern construction practices, particularly when off-white cement is used due to its higher lime content and faster drying properties.
The use of off-white cement, which contains more lime, speeds up the curing process when laying tiles. However, lime is water-soluble, and when moisture enters the material, it evaporates, leaving behind lime residue on the surface. Over time, this powdery residue undergoes calcification and hardens, resulting in efflorescence.
It’s worth noting that efflorescence can also occur in materials other than when off-white cement is used, as lime is present in various building components, including glues and grouts, etc albeit in smaller amounts.
Efforts are being made to address efflorescence-related issues. Australian Standards are being revised to require waterproofing the top of screeds instead of underneath, which helps prevent water from reaching the screed, as long as there is no movement. However, structures with significant movement, such as timber frames, may still experience efflorescence when movement occurs which can be seen when grout joint crack.
When it comes to removing efflorescence, there are several expensive products available on the market. However, one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods is the use of hydrochloric acid, which effectively dissolves efflorescence. Depending on the extent of calcification, some assistance may be required to break through the top layer, usually done by carefully using a bolster.
It’s important to note that efflorescence is on a time lock, meaning the water that is used to clean it off will create more efflorescence. To break this cycle, water needs to be prevented from gaining access this is done by using the Clear Waterproofing Membrane. This membrane acts as a barrier, preventing water from accessing the underlying building materials, thus inhibiting the dissolution and evaporation of lime and salts on the surface. After the initial application, it is recommended to return after 2-4 weeks to remove any newly surfaced efflorescence (due to the initial cleaning process) and patch repair the membrane if necessary. This step is typically a one-time requirement and effectively stops the cycle of efflorescence. Prevent it from reoccurring!
In cases where a significant amount of efflorescence is present, it is crucial to ensure that the integrity of the membrane is not compromised when the efflorescence resurfaces. If the membrane is breached and water is allowed in, the efflorescence cycle may restart.
By following these steps, your balcony can be restored to its original appearance, and the Clear Waterproofing Membrane will help prevent the recurrence of efflorescence. It is essential to carefully adhere to the step-by-step installation guide for the Clear Waterproofing Membrane.
In this section, you will find a variety of questions asked by homeowners and tradespeople about our products; we are continuously adding to this page, so the answers to your questions will more than likely be found here. If your question remains unanswered, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When efflorescence has been exposed to the sun for a long period of time, it creates a crust, which we call calcification. In cases where this is present, you may need to break through the top layer for the acid to access the efflorescence. A bolster and a wire brush are effective tools in aiding in the removal of efflorescence.
Yes, hydrochloric acid is corrosive, which means that it can have a negative effect on you if you don’t wear the correct personal protective equipment or PPE. Please make sure to read the safety instructions when you purchase it.
The time frame for efflorescence repair and prevention involves a requirement to return 2–4 weeks after the initial application. So, the cleaning and application may be done in a matter of days, but the repair could be done up to a month after the initial application, extending the time involved in preventing it from occurring. The area can be used between the application and the repair, but each time needs 24 hours to harden before being walked on.
Yes, the instructions have video references for additional information and are described as detailed, not difficult. You can find the installation guides if you select Application on the menu options and select which application you are looking for. There will be a video on the top of the page, direct below will be the installation guide.
select your mouse of the Contact menu option, select installer on the dropdown menu, enter postcode when prompted and contact some of your local installers to get a quote. Most will be able to ask you questions over the phone and provide a phone quote for you. If there are no installers in your area you can request your local contactor to do the online training course or Do-It-Yourself.
Yes, the membrane is fine with salt water and has been installed on many balconies only meters away from the sea.
Like 95% of other waterproof membrane Clear Waterproofing Membrane is a positive membrane which protect the surface from the rain and the hose but not from rising damp. Rising damp is usually a requirement of preventing water sitting against porous building materials. In areas where that is not possible you should be looking for using epoxy
External areas are generally subject to UV and as such are not really subject to too many issues with mold.
There are reduced pores for dirt to sit in so it will be easier to clean a clean once a week with white vinegar will be sufficient.
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“Thank you to Jasmine of Remedial Membranes for her work in rectifying the leak caused by the gradual wearing of the waterproofing in our bathroom. The application of the membrane has saved us a huge headache and thousands of dollars! We highly recommend this form of waterproofing.”
“I recently had a failed waterproofing membrane under a tiled balcony. This resulted in substantial leakage and major damage to my ceiling…A clear waterproofing membrane from Remedial membranes was applied over the existing tiles. I found them professional, on time, and did an excellent job. Our balcony has not leaked despite substantial rain since the repair.”
“Great Business to deal with. Keep you updated and in the picture. Had no issues at all. Great product – does the job and finish is good. We had our steps and front Patio done. Impressive ! Would recommend product & Supplier with no hesitation.”
“I contacted Remedial Membranes after we sold our house but one of the conditions of the sale was the showers to be repaired. We didn’t have any spare tiles and the new owners did not want the look to change so the idea of putting a clear membrane over the surface was a perfect solution to everyone involved. The job was done in 1 morning and the sale went through. Highly recommend Remedial Membranes. Their ability to work to a deadline was fundamental for the success!”
Why do leaky balconies occur anyway?
Most leaks occur due to movement in the substrate. As the membrane is in the middle of the construction configuration it is impossible to access it for repair. Ongoing movement is expected in the substrate, especially on a timber frame, so the only way to repair a leaky balcony is with a flexible membrane.
With a clear membrane installed on top, it’s easier to identify leaks and to patch repair. It’s estimated that the cost of DIY installation of our Clear Waterproofing Membrane costs LESS THAN 10% of the cost it would be to replace the damaged membrane under the tiles!
See how our product compares to others below…
Epoxy and Sealer are rigid, and they provide no warranty for movement (which is what creates leaks). These products are not suitable to use for repair.
No mismatched tiles, long waits, or expensive rip outs – just beautiful, lasting results. Go ahead and try it for yourself today! We can’t wait to see the results.