Common efflorescence

Common efflorescence is the visible occurrence of salts on the face of the brickwork. Soluble salts are left on the surface of the brickwork by water which has passed through the face of the brickwork and evaporated. The salts are carried in solution by the water but do not evaporate. The most common salts are sulphates of sodium, magnesium and calcium. These salts are common in the environment and are not harmful, however, they look visually unacceptable. Symptoms can be prevented by protective details in the design such overhangs, drips, copings and sills that stop copious amounts of water reaching the face of the brickwork.