Have you ever noticed some white powdery substance on your fiber cement siding during hot sunny days following rainy weather? If you have, then what you’ve seen is the effect of efflorescence. What is it, what does it do, and how can it be removed?
What Is Efflorescence?
Efflorescence is a chemical process that causes cement-based materials or products, such as fiber cement siding, stucco and concrete, to discolor. These porous materials contain salt, which gets dissolved when the material absorbs moisture – by exposure prior to installation or when moisture enters the back side of the substrate.
The moisture inside the fiber cement will be drawn out once the material is exposed to the sun. As the moisture evaporates, it leaves the salt behind, causing a white powdery substance to appear on the surface. The white powdery substance will not cause any damage to the fiber cement siding. It will, however, make the siding look unsightly and lower its curb appeal. This powdery substance has to be removed.
The white powdery salt substance left on the siding can be removed, but the removal process is labor-intensive and takes up a lot of time. Siding and roof replacement experts recommend using a pressure washer or an acid wash to remove salt deposits. Both cleaning methods, however, have their downsides.
Acid is dangerous and can be harmful to your health, which means those who will use acid wash to remove salt deposits must take care to coming in contact with the acid. Pressure washing using water, on the other hand, is not dangerous to the health, but can cause salts to be reabsorbed and form future efflorescence.
Fiber cement siding is susceptible to efflorescence problems. Wood siding, on the other hand, isn’t and will always continue to make homes look good regardless of the weather. LP® Smartside® siding is made of engineered wood that doesn’t suffer from efflorescence. 1800-RITE-ROOF, the top local roofer, offers this product.
Looking for new siding that won’t have salt deposits forming on it after rainy days? Or, do you simply need pros who can work on your roof replacement plans? Call us at (262) 373-3800, or fill out our contact form for a free estimate. We serve clients in Wisconsin, including Brookfield.