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White Fungus on Concrete

Concrete appears completely solid but has microscopic pores from which flow tiny droplets of moisture. The moisture evaporates, leaving behind tiny salt crystals called efflorescence. Efflorescence strongly resembles white fungus but is harmless and easily removed from concrete.

Inspection

Concrete itself does not decay. Any fungus or mould appearing on concrete originates from bacteria in the presence of moisture or a material in proximity to concrete, such as wood. Efflorescence denotes the presence of moisture, either from the delayed curing of the concrete or a persistent source of moisture such as a leak or high water table.

Characteristics

Fungus, a living organism, is typically green or black and slimy. Efflorescence appears as a white, powdery crystalline growth on the surface of the concrete. Excessive efflorescence may lead to mould growth, especially in very wet areas and standing water.

Treatment

Bleach kills fungus. Efflorescence may be removed with a mixture of white vinegar and water or a muriatic acid solution for extreme cases. Removing the source of the moisture will prevent efflorescence from developing.

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About the Author

Rebecca Mecomber, a former radio broadcaster, has been a professional blogger and writer since 2006. Her articles and interviews have appeared in "The Wall Street Journal," Salon.com and several other publications, covering topics such as Federal Trade Commission policy and media regulations, blogging, home improvement and New York travel.