Efflorescence - Cause?

Maybe in the sticks standards are not followed but if they have issues and you do not call out best practices you deserve future grief by the client.
Go argue with the brick association sites as they know more than you guys or me.
In what world is no weeps and flashing acceptable.
What you smoking?

IRC R 401.3

The foundation shall sit above finish grade by 8"

OBERVATION: The foundation appears to be below grade. The brick veneer are subjected to water during rain events.
During the evaporation, the mineral salts left behind are discoloration the brick veneer.
Over time the veneer will degrade at a faster rate. The effervescence will act like a sealer trapping in MC.

RECOMMEND: A professorial brick company clean and protect the 8 low courses of brick veneer or the veneer that comes into contact with the grade.

Brick veneer above grade.
How old is the build?
SUSPECT: This could be building bloom or masonry building bloom. A residue left behind the the building process.

IE: During the veneer courses being erected the masonry is furrowed in the brick course center. The mason strikes the furrow making a concave in the center to act as a suction and also allow the brick to be manipulated to level without much difficulty. He/she should be able to level a long course, 8 to 10 bricks with his 5 foot masons level.
The masonry oozes to the sides and is scraped off by the masons trowel at a 45% degree level and that scraping is applied to the brick butt as the course builds vertically in both direction… A little bit of masonry is left behind on the upper and lower lead faces.

When the masonry is thumb tight the mason finishes the masonry, in between the clay or concrete units, with a tuck pointing tool. The tools come with several finishes. The course is struck (IRONED) with the tool on the head and butt joints. This to leaves a bit of masonry on the brick.

Dependent upon how proficient the mason is aquatints to how much masonry is left on the brick face.

When I was a mason I washed the majority of newly constructed work I accomplished.
There is no need for brick bloom.

Prepare your hypothesis by asking, How old is the building? brick bloom can last 5 to 7 years.
The lower courses may to be builders bloom. The masonry is still in contact with the grade.

building bloom.Read more

Call or email me about masonry if you wish. I do not know everything and I try to learn daily.

[quote=“mpainter1, post:3, topic:78100”]

if anyone could offer any suggestions as to the source of moisture/QUOTE]
Do not bother looking behind the wall.
It is from rain events. external. It is trapped within the brick. The interior double wall is void of MC. If it was not the drywall would show signs of apparent elevated HR or even MC above the norm. Mr. organic growth my be present also. Not saying it does not happen. The occurrence is rare.

Weep holes are for atmospheric pressure relief in double wall envelopes.
The exterior is a high pressure forcing MC into the medium pressure void and the interior space being a low pressure zone. hence forth perm barriers.

Not sure where your sarcasm comes from as I am sure a buyer for this property might take offense to such a flippant attitude.

Please explain after your off the wall insult apparently directed towards me has faded which part of the facts below you disagree with and please do so when you feel like be serious rather than directing insult towards me from left field.
You are usually a bright helpful person and sad to see if someone else is rubbing off on you.

Please bring back the real Marcel.

Any building constructed since 1970 should have rubber, plastic or metallic “flashing,” a protective skirt that curves around joints to protect against moisture. When water does get through a wall, it collects on the flashing and is released through “weep holes,” small openings in the masonry. These holes are most obvious at the top of the foundation wall.
3/16-inch-diameter weep holes every 33 inches at minimum, just above the flashing . Flashing, in turn, is recommended under the first course of masonry at ground level, above windows and doors, below window sills, and at any lintels and shelf angles

Thanks for all your comments guys. I have a question though. Since there are no weep hole in the brick veneer, would sealing the lower courses of bricks cause an even bigger issue by not allowing the moisture to escape at all? That is assuming that water is entering the wall around the window and door flashings as well as from the rain Marcel’s rain theory.

Bob. Yes there are water issues in the basement. I believe it is a combination of the issue we are discussing as well as a gutter system that has every single miter in it shot.

Jeff. No weep holes were noted. Unless they are below grade as the brick extends below grade at almost every spot around the building. On the east side of the building I could actually see the small parts of the foundation wall and the lower courses of brick. No weep holes were noted in these areas either

Absolutely… but, perhaps I should be more exact in my statement…

I did not mean to infer that commercial walls are missing certain features, what I meant to say, in agreement to your post, that it is virtually never visible on commercial properties… ESPECIALLY along a walkway or an entrance ramp where 1) it is easily visible, and 2) where there is a potential where a passersby could snag themselves on a flashing edge. As you know, Bob is technically correct, but you and I both know that reality takes a strong hand in what actually happens on a job site. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, just that I have never seen it (that I ever recall) as Bob insists it must be.

Uh, did you even bother to read my post where I questioned if there were weeps, and if they were clear of debris blocking them???

I couldn’t tell if there were weeps there from your pics, because I don’t own a 26" replacement for a small **** (yes Bob, aimed at you). The one pic looks like there may be, but was unsure. I suspect that is what Marcel noticed also.

Yes, as you said, if there are no weeps it has to come out somewhere else, and that would usually be through the brick, thus the efflorescence.

Yeah Jeff, that one picture looks like weep holes but is actually deteriorated mortar joints from the water

A licensed professional will remove the SUSPECT effervescence and insure the veneer is capable of sealing the veneer without harming the surface and clay veneer.

As for adding weep holes.
The grade is variant by degree. The slope is off the brick ledger, IF ANY, and placing weep holes is for the purpose of shedding water, or trapped MC that the brick ledger . There would be no use to place them anywhere else.
If trapped MC is suspected by the company the vents can be placed in the brick veneer wall that will allow any previews trapped HR or above normal MC to escape.
RECOMMEND: A licensed masonry company preform an evaluation on the brick veneer wall and preform any needed maintenance.

All the best.

PS: **I believe it is a combination of the issue we are discussing **
Don’t believe, fact only. create a hypothesis or I RECOMMEND, you let a professional do the job.
Write up your observations, recommend and move along.

PS, PS: No weep holes were noted. Unless they are below grade
I see you are lacking on brick veneer.
No one is guessing at what they are saying on this thread.
RECOMMEND: you educate on brick veneer and brick, stone, foundations and there relationship within one and two story buildings at first.

All the best.

Matt, being the location your at, I agree with Marcel on this one. That the cause is from the exterior, not the interior, and/or lack of weeps.

“more apt to think that the rain water.or snow, ice, salt, splashing on the brick from the steps and the sidewalk saturate to brick and the efflorescence comes out as the moisture migrates out in the drying process.”

Now you point out gutters (downspouts) and the lack of perimeter drainage may be suspect.
I believe it is a combination of the issue we are discussing as well as a gutter system that has every single miter in it shot.
Explain please Matt.
Are there downspouts within the proximity of the wall.
Is the perimeter drainage? Exterior or interior?
Is there a sump basin/s?

Did you IR the basement walls.

Did you see the sill plate?

What materials are withing the walled system below grade?
Metal or wood.
Wood, any decay.
Metal, any rust?

Above grade maybe building bloom.

Gees Louise it hard to get some respect around here with all these top notch HI’s.

Just taken outside my home.

Now is that what you saw?

no water in the interior apartment.
Been on going for 7 years now.
The brick is degraded and crumbing on the wall the id 18" inches above grade and has no ground contact.
Now for a complete understanding of the thread please read more.

I know there is moisture that has gotten into the basement wall as the buyer is actually leasing the building right now and stated so when I asked. Here is the issue, check out the pic from that room in the basement

It’s not building bloom as this structure is 30 years old

Great work!

You lift any false ceiling tiles at the wall.
Remember water can come in pipes, vents, and yes the brick veneer.
Ask you client to go further.
Get a HI with an IR camera and chase down the leak.

Do it for free if you have to. get your experience any way you can.
Experience and someone getting images of you working is priceless at times. Ask the client and building owner to market you after.
Just say’n


Three reasons:
Moisture in the masonry
Salts in the masonry.
Surface for salts to evaporate and exacerbate efflorescence.

If you take just one of these away you will not have efflorescence.

Great article in The Construction Specifier magazine of the Construction Specifications Institute.

I lifted up some ceiling tiles but everything was insulated at the rim joist so I couldn’t directly see any framing members and couldn’t get in close enough to remove any of it to investigate further