On/Off Topic Question

This is both on and off topic. First the off topic. Has anyone else experienced a strange white stuff growing on thier concrete? It looks like a cross between a crystal and a fungal growth and shows up mostly on polished concrete surfaces like garage floors where it eventually eats into the cement. I have no idea what this stuff is and I'm sorry I dont have a picture of it. It seems to grow mostly after the concrete gets damp or wet.
Now the on topic. I would love to know what this stuff is and if anyone might know how to get rid of it because it is now growing on a one of my terracotta pots and I'm concerned for the plant in the pot.
Any advice or help or even just comments are welcome
Shell
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like
into
wet.
It is salt.

It is salt.

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Blame it on Emeril Lagasse.
He puts far too much salt on everything!!!!
Use vinegar to remove it.

a
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Emeril...ech, don't like his show
Vinegar huh? If you're serious I'll try it since I have to refinish my garage floor anyway
Shell

have
or
anyone
my
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Salt? Strange... Shell

a
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"Efflorescence Water that moves through a material in a liquid state can also produce many harmful effects. The most obvious is the efflorescence that often disfigures the face of a building. Migrating water dissolves salts from some position inside the material and then deposits them on the surface as the water evaporates. Usually this effect is not destructive but merely disfiguring. If a vapour-permeable but water-repellent membrane is applied to the outer face of the wall, however, the water may be caused to evaporate from behind it, so that the salts are deposited behind the surface layer and the resulting force of crystallization can cause the skin to spall. The subject of efflorescence has already been dealt with at considerable length in CBD 2 and need not be examined further here. It should be noted, however, that the spalling produced by the crystallization of salts behind the surface of the material is very similar in appearance to that produced by frost action, and in many cases it is difficult to determine which mechanism has caused it. Surface treatment of masonry may promote further complications if it restricts the escape of vapour that is migrating from inside the building. This vapour may be forced to condense behind the surface and lead to, trouble under freezing conditions.
Leaching
Liquid water moving through concrete and mortar can cause a steady deterioration of these materials by leaching out the calcium from the calcium silicate bonding materials. This action is most pronounced with soft or mildly acidic waters such as are found in reservoirs fed from swampy areas. Very often this water percolates through the dam at the level of the concrete lifts and runs down the downstream face where it evaporates, leaving a white deposit. A similar deteriorating effect has been seen in buildings such as paper mills where the high humidities cause water vapour, which passes into hollow concrete roof beams and condenses in the colder upper parts. The pure condensate may have absorbed carbon dioxide from the air and become slightly acidic. As the water migrates within the beam the calcium compounds are dissolved from the cement and in many locations have been left, after the drop of water bas re-evaporated, as stalactites of calcium carbonate. The undersides of such beams were seen to have no cementing material left and were covered with loose sand that could be brushed off by hand. Similar effects may be seen where rainwater percolates through concrete bridges and abutments and on the faces of buildings where it has entered behind facing stones and reappeared lower down, carrying with it calcium compounds from the mortar or backing concrete." http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/cbd/cbd030e.html

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Thanks for the information. I was a bit worried since we live within a few miles of three of the top superfund sites, at least two of which can't be cleaned up and have been cemented over.
Shell
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Efflorescence. You've got water moving through the concrete. See here: http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/efflorescence.htm http://www.urbanstone.com.au/technical/efflorescence.cfm http://www.handymanusa.com/questions/masonmiscq.html

Too much fertilizer, or your water is saline. Leach.
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Well, we don't fertilise the yard so I'm wondering if there may be a leak under the slab in the garage area. Just what I need.
Shell
wrote:

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