You have just gotten a new brick paver driveway or patio installed, and you notice that some of the pavers have a white tinge to them, giving them a dull look. This dull, white tinge is called efflorescence. New brick pavers and old alike have efflorescence ( salt deposits) on them, and can cause your brick paver area to look dingy, and have a white haze to the entire surface of the brick pavers.
What is efflorescence?
Efflorescence happens when the water-soluble salts ( salt deposits) that are in the concrete pavers come to the surface of the paver, and react with the air. This substance can be found on all hardscape materials, including brick pavers and even retaining wall blocks, causing them to have a white haze.
Efflorescence occurs randomly on pavers, and can be more pronounced on darker colors of pavers.
Is efflorescence damaging my pavers?
While most homeowners are not keen on having a white could covering their pavers, efflorescence does not damage your pavers in any way.
How to get rid of efflorescence?
Understandably homeowners want their pavers to look new, and there are things that can be done to remove the eflorescence off of the pavers.
Prep the area
Protect anything that you do not want damaged, and make sure that the area is clean from dirt and debris.
Apply the cleaner
Follow the instructions provide by the manufacturer of your product. Most products require you to dilute the solution with water before applying the cleaner to the pavers.
Use a bucket or watering can to apply the cleaner on the paver, and wait the allotted time (again this information should be on the bottle) of the cleaning solution. Remember to protect yourself from cleaners by using gloves and goggles before starting.
Then using a hard bristle brush, agitate the cleaner. This step may need to be done a couple of times depending on how much new efflorescence appears at the surface of the pavers.
Rinse each section, making sure all of the cleaner is removed.
Tips for removing efflorescence
- Only use products that specifically say they will remove efflorescence from pavers. Improper cleaning can damage the pavers, causing discoloration.
- Before cleaning the entire area, test out a small spot in the corner of your space to see how the pavers will react.
- Keep in mind that you may need to go over the same area couple of times before the efflorescence disappears.
Efflorescence is a natural occurrence in all concrete products, so if you are looking for a paver project that is clear of this whitish haze be aware that you, or your contractor, will have some scrubbing to do!