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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Is it Efflorescence or Mold?

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

A side by side comparison of mold and efflorescence The left picture is an example of mold whereas the right picture is efflorescence

Sometimes when we complete drying in a home or business some concerns arise at a white residue that is left behind on concrete, stone or brick materials. The concern is that the residue is some kind mold or fungus which makes homeowners wary.

Fortunately almost every time (especially when a water damage has been dried down professionally by SERVPRO Technicians) it is what is called efflorescence which is a migration of salt to the surface of a porous material. 

Efflorescence is typically harmless to people’s health and is not a structural concern in buildings. The problem arises because mold comes in all kinds of colors including white and sometimes can look very similar to efflorescence. After a water damage that has been properly treated it is almost certainly not mold but what if you find it outside of the context of a water damage? 

One way to know if you are dealing with mold or efflorescence is that if that white stuff is on a material other than porous masonry or concrete it is probably mold. This is because mold will do its best to grow on any surface whereas efflorescence will only show up on masonry. Typically mold will continue to grow where as efflorescence doesn’t although continuing water migration through concrete can cause the efflorescence to accumulate. You can also spray some of it with a little water and try to wipe it. If that works you probably are not dealing with mold. 

The best way to know which one you are dealing with is to call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita. We offer free mold inspections in the Wichita, Derby, Andover and close surrounding areas. Let our professionals give you piece of mind and know that if it is mold or some other water damage we can take care of it the correct way.

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