Occasionally though, a customer will get in touch because white residue has formed on the new brickwork/stonework of their new conservatory/orangery.
This isn’t a cause for alarm and is actually quite a common occurrence on both newly built extensions and properties, including structures that feature new brickwork or stonework.
The residue (pictured above) is caused by a process known as ‘efflorescence’ or ‘salt petering’ which can be defined as “the migration of a salt to the surface of a porous material where it forms a (white) coating.”
The essential process comprises the dissolving of an internally held salt in water, typically rainwater. The water, with the salt now held in solution, migrates to the surface, and then evaporates, leaving a coating of salt on the external face. The water is classed as ‘the invader’ because the salt was already present internally within the brick or stonework.
To put it in more simple terms, the trapped salts are set into motion when water enters masonry. The water dissolves the salts and carries them through the masonry towards the surface. Sunlight and wind draw the water to the surface, but as the water evaporates, the salts are left behind.
The good news is that these deposits are not reflective of and do not compromise the structural integrity of the brickwork. The other good news is that process will eventually diminish however; this will depend on the amount of salt in the masonry and the amount and frequency of rainfall. Taking a stiff brush to it will sometimes help to brush some of it off.
If you need any further advice on efflorescence or you’re currently thinking about buying a conservatory or orangery, please contact us.
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