What to Do with White Residue on Pavers? Understanding Efflorescence.
November 21, 2018
Having installed your newly purchased hardscape product, you might have noticed in some cases that that there’s a bit of white residue that won’t seem to come off. The most likely cause of this white residue on the surface of pavers is a naturally occurring phenomenon called efflorescence. It occurs when water-soluble salts within the paver migrates to the surface and reacts with carbon dioxide to form calcium carbonate, which is the substance that remains visible on the surface of your pavers. Efflorescence may be visible when the pavers are installed or may appear later, seemingly at random.
While efflorescence is certainly unsightly, it does not mean the pavers are of poor quality or flawed in some way. Good manufacturers, including Barkman, try to limit the appearance of efflorescence using various techniques but there is currently no manufacturing process that can completely eliminate it.
Over time, efflorescence will eventually wear away or disappear, usually within a span of 3-6 months, although it can take much longer depending on the circumstances.
Aside from simply waiting for the efflorescence to run its course, there are a number of ways a home owner can remove efflorescence. Regular scrubbing with a stiff brush and water will help to loosen and wash away some of the deposits, shortening the time it takes for the stains to disappear. A power washer can also be used to remove staining, although it should be done carefully as the stream can damage the pavers.
Various chemical solutions which are formulated to remove efflorescence are also available, but should be tested on a small area before being used on a larger surface. Ideally, the chosen chemical solution should not contain hydrochloric acid because it can cause discolouration on the surface of your pavers. Regardless of the chosen method, additional cleanings may need to be done at a later date as more salts rise to the surface. However, with repeated cleanings, your pavers can be kept stain-free until the salt deposits have been exhausted, at which point the pavers will remain free of efflorescence for the life of your pavers.