The surfaces of pavers often develop a white cloudiness, called efflorescence, soon after they are installed. The white film seen on such stones is actually calcium carbonate, which is a byproduct of the reaction when cement is exposed to the environment. Efflorescence is often considered unsightly to many homeowners, but the problem is strictly cosmetic and does not impair the functioning of the pavers. Most pavers develop this cloudy appearance within three to six weeks after being installed. The cloudiness gradually fades, and after three to six months, the effervescence of the pavers is likely to have completely disappeared. Although the problem is likely to solve itself in time, there are ways to speed up the process.
Fill your bucket halfway of water using your garden hose. Add a few drops of liquid dish detergent to the water, then add more water until the bucket is completely full.
Spray the pavers with your garden hose until they are thoroughly wet. Dip your brush into the bucket full of water and soap. Scrub the pavers vigorously with the brush.
Rinse the soapy water from the pavers by spraying them thoroughly with your garden hose until no more bubbles remain on the surface.
Repeat this process as often as you would like. The regular scrubbing of your pavers will help accelerate the disappearance of effervescence.
Things You Will Need
- Garden hose with spray nozzle
- Strong concrete brush
- Liquid dish detergent
- Although the white, cloudy appearance of pavers should naturally disappear within three to six months, it may take longer. It should eventually disappear on its own, even without any intervention.
- Although there are chemical products available on the market that are advertised to remove effervescence, these should be used with care, since they may dissolve some of the color of the pavers.
- The cloudy appearance is likely to reappear when the calcium hydroxide inside the stone finds its way to the surface again.
- Power washing the pavers may temporarily remove their cloudiness, but the cloudy appearance is likely to reappear in time.
- Do not seal your pavers until the natural effervescence has totally disappeared. Otherwise, the sealer may permanently seal in the cloudy appearance.