Efflorescence is a common problem in construction that occurs when a white, powdery substance appears on the surfaces of building materials like concrete, tiles, grout, and render. This issue arises when water enters the surface or substrate through cracks and dissolves soluble salts and minerals. As the water evaporates and turns into vapor (gas), these dissolved substances are left behind, resulting in efflorescence. The use of off-white cement with higher lime content and faster drying properties in modern construction practices has contributed to the increased occurrence of efflorescence.
The presence of lime in off-white cement accelerates the curing process during tile installation. However, lime is soluble in water, so when water penetrates the layers of construction materials, it evaporates and leaves lime residue on the surface. Over time, this residue undergoes calcification and hardens, leading to efflorescence. It’s worth noting that efflorescence can also happen without the use of off-white cement since lime and salts are present in various building components, albeit in smaller amounts, such as glues and grouts.
Efforts are being made to address efflorescence-related issues. Waterproofing is now being applied on top of screeds instead of or in addition to underneath, which helps prevent water from reaching the screed, as long as there is no movement. However, structures that experience significant movement, like timber frames, may still encounter efflorescence, typically starting with grout joint cracking.
When it comes to removing efflorescence, there are costly products available on the market. However, a cost-effective and efficient method involves using hydrochloric acid, which effectively dissolves efflorescence. Depending on the degree of calcification, some assistance may be needed to break through the top layer, usually achieved by carefully using a bolster.
It’s crucial to understand that efflorescence functions as a time lock process. When water is used for its removal, it will or can create new efflorescence. To break this cycle, it is necessary to waterproof the surface, preventing water from accessing the substrate. This can be accomplished by applying a Clear Waterproofing Membrane, which acts as a barrier, inhibiting the dissolution and evaporation of lime on the surface. After the initial application, it is recommended to revisit the area after 2–4 weeks to remove any newly surfaced efflorescence caused by the cleaning process and repair the membrane if necessary. This step is typically a one-time requirement and effectively stops the efflorescence cycle.
In cases where a significant amount of efflorescence is present, it is crucial to ensure the integrity of the membrane remains intact when the efflorescence resurfaces. If the membrane is compromised and water enters, the efflorescence cycle may restart.
By following these steps and carefully adhering to the step-by-step installation guide for the Clear Waterproofing Membrane, you can restore the original appearance of your balcony and prevent the recurrence of efflorescence.
In this section, you will find a variety of questions asked by homeowners and tradespeople about our product. W are continuously adding to this page. If your question remains unanswered, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
A standard repair can be done in one day.
caulk will be removed, shower cleaned for adhesion, dried caulk replaced and 2 coats of membrane applied to the surface. Unless you have stone tiles then all the tiles in the shower recess will need to be pre-sealed using a diluted mix of the membrane prior to applying the 2 waterproofing coats.
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 once dry/cured is fine with hot water
Clear Waterproofing Membrane includes an anti-mold and anti-fungal additive similar to silicone. If you currently have mould growing behind your wall it can grow back under the membrane.
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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“We had a rental property located in another state and the Property Manager advised that that both of our showers were leaking and that the whole bathroom was getting covered in mold as a consequence for the tenant who had young children. We didn’t want to spend thousands ripping up the showers, and we couldn’t take them out of action for the tenants, so we were recommended to try the Clear Waterproofing Membrane.
I’m delighted to say that Jasmin was able to fix both showers in 1 day so the tenants were able to shower before the repair and 24 hours after the repair. Highly recommend! The next project is the leaky balcony!”
“Instead of replacing the tiles, we luckily found Remedial Membranes and you were able to offer a solution which decreased the cost for this project by a whopping 75%. The clear membrane looks terrific and has 100% stopped the water leak issues.”
“Thank you so much for all your work, support and advice regarding the water leaking & efflorescence issues we faced in our apartment block in Mornington. I just reflected on our project which started with potentially having to replace 500 sqm of tiles on our level 4 terrace at a very significant cost to us.
Instead of replacing the tiles, we luckily found Remedial Membranes and you were able to offer a solution which decreased the cost for this project by a whopping 75%. The clear membrane looks terrific and has 100% stopped the water leak issues from the terrace.”
“My shower was leaking and I wanted to repair it myself. So I purchased the kit and watched the video and installed the membrane. I had a few questions through the process so I took a picture and text them through to the helpdesk and received an immediate call back.”
“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 leaks occur?
Homes are built to move over time without cracking, but when movement happens in a shower it results in failed membranes. The membranes are out of reach, which then becomes expensive to repair. That’s why we offer a topical membrane!
See how our product compares to others below…
Epoxy and Sealer are rigid and provide no warranty for movement which is what creates leaks. These products are not suitable to use for repair.
With Remedial Membranes, there’s no mismatched tiles, long waits, or expensive rip outs – just beautiful, lasting results. Try it for yourself today!