salt deposits on basement walls

Old 01-08-02, 12:05 PM
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salt deposits on basement walls

I purchased my house three years ago and I'm noticing a white crystal formation around the bottom of the basement walls. There is also white plastic sheeting around the bottom of the basement installed by dry duck waterproofing company. The salt crystals ( if that is what it is) seems to be getting worse/ Is this a major problem. Is my foundation in troulble??. When I pull back the plastic sheeting I noticed that someone had drilled holes in the basement walls. Was this an attempt to dry out the cement? Can salt deposits destroy morter joints?

Last edited by mhall; 01-09-02 at 08:10 AM.
Old 01-11-02, 03:59 AM
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To me, it sounds like a common phenomenon known as efflorescence. Basically, the blocks that your wall are made of are impregnated with a salt solution. This solution tends to migrate to the surface of the block (called blooming). Once it is on the surface, the water evaporates and the salt deposits are left behind.

The term salt in this case does not necessarily refer to sodium chloride, in case you're wondering. A salt can refer to any mineral compound.

Most of the time, this is just a visual problem. Rarely will it cause a structural problem. If you do a search on the web for 'efflorescence', you should be able to find some more specific examples and answers.
Old 01-19-02, 07:48 AM
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Wink Similar situation

I have the same thing. I am in the beginning process of finishing my basement. Although I don't get water, I am waterproofing to be safe. I bought dryloc etching that was recommended to take the salt (efflorescense or whatever it's called) off the wall then I am using dryloc waterproofing paint to hope stop the problem and at least help with the moisture. I also have drilled holes all around the foundation. I was told that they were there to empty out the water from behind the block. I have these channel to take the water to the sump pump.

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