One reason that concrete masonry is a popular choice over other options is its proven performance and durability. Concrete retaining walls are designed for outside use so that they are well suited to resist the elements over time however, they are susceptible to stains.
Normally, marks or stains can be removed using a stiff broom or pressure washing, (provided you do not burst the stabilizing sand from the joints) however, in case you’ve got a specific stain that just won’t budge we have a detailed collection of stain removal methods that will aid you.
What is efflorescence and how can this affect my project?
We occasionally get reports of a white chalky material forming on the front of concrete retaining walls. Efflorescence is bought on by excessive moisture and will present itself if the cement from the concrete block hydrates. This procedure may release minerals and salts which could later come through the surface of the concrete retaining walls. This occurs most commonly after rain and will dissipate naturally with time.
There are a number of easy ways you can lower the chance of excess moisture. If you get your concrete masonry products and its going to be a couple of weeks before you build the wall unwrap the pallet and keep them in a cool dry place so that they don’t become wet. Also ensure the sand you are placing your concrete retaining walls on is nice and dry!
If efflorescence does happen, don’t stress as it is going to dissipate naturally. If you would like to accelerate the process, the best strategy would be to treat the surface with a particular efflorescence cleaner, which is a remedy which may be obtained at most landscape supply yards. Always follow manufacturer instructions when using chemical agents, particularly the instructions around testing the product on a sample area before applying for your complete concrete or block retaining walls.