You walk outside in the morning, look over your new concrete driveway or walls and see this white film that is now covering this expensive project you just did. You are uncertain of what it is and you get nervous because you don’t know what to do. You can relax because it is usually not as bad as it seems.
All concrete based products, pavers, concrete, block, etc. are susceptible to a chalky white film that can develop on the surface. This is called Efflorescence. It can also appear on other non-concrete surfaces like tile that have something with a cement like material underneath it.
Efflorescence forms because of a natural chemical reaction that occurs when minerals (salts) in the cement portion of the material react with water. The appearance of efflorescence will stop when there aren’t any more reacting minerals to move to the surface.
Since efflorescence brings out salts that are not ordinarily part of the concrete, it is not a structural, but, rather, an aesthetic (look) concern. The white haze may give the impression that the color of the concrete product is fading but this is not the case. Efflorescence may occur randomly or be concentrated in certain areas.
However, it should be noted that if there are areas where you have continuous water saturation like a block wall some structural damage may occur along with the signs of efflorescence. But it is not the efflorescence that causes the underlying damage.
If efflorescence does occur, it can be removed with cleaners specially made for concrete or pavers or you can simply wait it out for the efflorescence to stop.