Caring for your pavers: “White haze”

Dan Polucha Construction, Tips and Tricks

Efflorescence is a white haze that may appear on the surface of pavers sometime after installation. It forms as a result of a natural chemical reaction that occurs when the lime or water soluble calcium oxide, produced by the cement contained in the pavers, reacts with water.

When water enters the microscopic capillaries in pavers, calcium hydroxide is formed. The calcium hydroxide rises to the surface of the paver, reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air, and forms a white haze of calcium carbonate when the moisture evaporates from the surface. The appearance of efflorescence stops when there isn’t any more calcium hydroxide available to move to the surface. This process sometimes can take several months.

While efflorescence does not damage pavers, However, it can be unappealing. The white haze may give the impression that the paver color is fading but this is not the case. Efflorescence may occur randomly or be concentrated in certain areas. Dark colored pavers show efflorescence more than lighter-colored ones. If efflorescence does occur, it can be removed with cleaners specially made for concrete pavers. Careless or improper cleaning can result in damage and discoloration to the concrete paver surfaces.

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