Efflorescence: Concrete Expert Witness

Examples of excessive efforescence from a combination of various defects in construction and design.

In most cases where efflorescence is present on concrete slabs and or any other flatwork like swimming pool decks it creates an unsightly presence. The structure and functionality of the concrete performance is not affected in most cases. The photos presented in this blog were taken by a Building Forensics International technician during an investigative site visit. A Building Forensics International concrete expert consultant wrote a report outlining the following observations. 1) The frequent application of water, together with wetting and drying cycles, has led to streaking and blotchy discoloration and efflorescence. 2) This condition is greatly aggravated by birdbaths in the concrete surface and incomplete drainage of the concrete surfaces. 3) The water may dissolve solulble portions of the concrete. (further, the concrete itself may posses more soluble material than normal.) 4) Efflorescence is present on certain soil and concrete surfaces oriented nearby and along planter edges, lawn edges, bird bath peripheries, overhanging planting, splash zones, planted pots, and randomly in fields of concrete. 5) It is common that soil amendments and fertilizers contain agents capable of discoloring concrete.

This is an excerpt from a comprehensive report that was written on behalf of the BFI client. Other aspects that contributed to the presence of efflorescence in this project were drastic change in weather temperatures from very cold to very hot. Rust of reinforcing steel. The depth of the control and construction joints.

If you are in need of a concrete expert witness for any construction related concerns involving concrete, cement, plaster, reinforcing steel or any other related construction materials contact Building Forensics Interational.

BFI staff writer ~


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