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What is White Powder from Weeps on New Brick Wall?


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Inspecting a new home in Austin TX.

Very unusual amount of white powder coming from all the weep holes on this wall (but none of the other walls).

I wonder if it's from water penetration during construction in our recent unseasonal and heavy rain storms. Does it suggest that the wall is not watertight behind the brick?

It looks and feels most like it is dissolved sheet rock, but it could be something else. Any ideas?

Thanks for your help, Ken

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It's indicating there's a lot of water penetrating this particular wall. The white stains are showing dissolved "mineral salts" in the masonry. If it's soft and powdery, that's odd. Usually those stains are "hard" and not powdery.

On one hand, it's indicating the wall is working correctly. OTOH, it's a surprising amount of staining for a new building.

I'm not seeing any flashing in the locations I should be seeing it, so I'd be putting this in the major concern category. You may have to open the wall to know what's going on.

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Thanks, fellows, this is a great resource, and thanks to each of you for the quick responses.

Here is another picture showing very heavy white deposits on a window sill coming from the weep above it, at about 8 ft above grade. It is a one story home.

Trying to figure out if this wall is damaged or just had a rough start. Could this have occurred if the brick was not fully installed and then it rained heavily? If so, would you expect there to be damage to the interior of the wall?

Thanks again, Ken

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Thanks, fellows, this is a great resource, and thanks to each of you for the quick responses.

Here is another picture showing very heavy white deposits on a window sill coming from the weep above it, at about 8 ft above grade. It is a one story home.

Trying to figure out if this wall is damaged or just had a rough start. Could this have occurred if the brick was not fully installed and then it rained heavily? If so, would you expect there to be damage to the interior of the wall?

Thanks again, Ken

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Painter cleaned his tools inside the room (there's no floor finish yet when the drywall is being primed), threw the wash from his paint bucket out a window but his aim wasn't too good.

Marc

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Well, I'd venture a different guess. The staining looks to me like a LOT of water (and waterborne stuff) flowed out those holes. There are even signs of seepage out in places other than the weeps. I suspect that rain hit this wall before the mortar had set up fully. It's possible also that the brick was only a few feet high before the rain hit, increasing the likelihood that water would get behind it. The OP said that other walls weren't affected. Maybe they were finished prior to the rain?

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Well, I'd venture a different guess. The staining looks to me like a LOT of water (and waterborne stuff) flowed out those holes. There are even signs of seepage out in places other than the weeps. I suspect that rain hit this wall before the mortar had set up fully. It's possible also that the brick was only a few feet high before the rain hit, increasing the likelihood that water would get behind it. The OP said that other walls weren't affected. Maybe they were finished prior to the rain?

Ok. So why are the stains white? Where did the pigment come from?

Marc

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