DIY Antisalnitro: Is It Efficient Or Not?

Saltpetre is similar to mold but is characterized by different dynamics. Its presence is especially dangerous for the structural integrity of the building, let’s see how to eliminate it.

Mold is a serious problem as it poses a threat to human health, while saltpetre is harmless to humans but lethal for masonry. It is therefore necessary to learn how to distinguish between the different types of mold, because not all of them occur together indistinctly nor do they have the same effects. There is also a notable difference between the colored ones, which originate from fungal spores, and the white molds , which are instead saline efflorescences .

Colored molds

The molds whose color varies from yellow to black are usually originated from fungal spores; the color is indicative of the type of spore and the latter can represent a more or less serious threat to human health. The black one, for example, originated from the Stachybotrys chartarum fungus, is extremely toxic to humans and animals and is considered the most dangerous because it can cause memory loss, severe respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.

Even yellow mold can create respiratory problems while green mold , which causes the dreaded aspergillosis, is among the most widespread because once it takes root it never stops growing; violet, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous as it produces a carcinogen, and red, brown and gray also all cause more or less serious health problems.

How to get rid of fungal molds

Putting aside the danger to health, however, dealing with molds originating from fungal spores is extremely simple; in fact, their elimination is relatively easy, both in terms of the required methods and in terms of being able to resort to “home-made” methods which make it possible to considerably reduce the cost of the interventions.

In the most serious cases it is advisable not to spare any expenses, of course, and to rely on a complete sanitizing treatment; the latter consists in the application of a series of specific products that include a cleaning substance based on biocidal agents, in order to kill all the spores and microbes responsible for the infestation, and different varieties of anti-mold paint that have anti-condensation and transpiring properties which help prevent the subsequent formation of fungal colonies.

If, on the other hand, the stains are light and not very extensive, then it is possible to resort to traditional methods that are effective and allow you to save, such as washing with water and bleach solutions, or water, bicarbonate and lemon juice or water. and vinegar.

Potassium nitrate

If the mold is white in color and has a very pronounced fluffy appearance, then it is not caused by fungal spores but it is an efflorescence created by what remains after the water, evaporating, causes the crystallization of the salts contained in it. During the evaporation process, in fact, the mineral salts dissolved in the water create a complex crystalline structure which to the naked eye is perceived as a white efflorescence resembling a sort of very pronounced fluff compared to the surface of the wall. Precisely because of this dynamic it tends to permeate solid materials at the molecular level and trigger a process of disintegration in them.

This efflorescence is none other than potassium nitrate, commonly known with the names of saltpetre , sannitro or salmistro , although the latter term is derived from the fusion of saltpeter and brackish words and is used mainly to indicate a meat preparation technique culinary field.

Unlike the colored one, originating from the proliferation of fungi, the efflorescence of saltpeter is white in color and does not represent a problem for human health, but it is equally harmful because it can corrode concrete, bricks and steel in equal measure, and therefore represents a serious threat to masonry works.

Why and where saltpetre is formed

The formation of white mold spots is mainly due to rising damp and water infiltration into the walls; unlike that of fungal origin, in fact, the saline efflorescence of saltpetre begins to manifest itself in the lower part of the walls and on all parts of the building in contact with the ground, therefore the foundations, the walls of cellars and basements, and ground floor walls.

The efflorescences of saltpetre are the external manifestation of course, and therefore they are the tangible sign that the infiltrations have already widely penetrated inside the masonry works and must be countered as soon as possible; if neglected, in fact, the accumulation of saltpeter can seriously compromise the integrity of the building and even cause a structural collapse.

How to get rid of saltpetre

In the case of saltpetre, painting alone is not enough to solve the problem, because the efflorescence is caused by the infiltration of humidity and it is these that must be stopped in some way, or try to counteract its effects.

One of the tangible signs that differentiate normal fungal molds from saltpetre, as we mentioned earlier, is that the latter carries out a corrosive action that tends to break up the plaster and pulverize the concrete and bricks. If the spots of fungal mold, however extensive, are limited to overlapping the paints and coatings leaving them almost intact, then, the saltpetre begins to emerge from below and tends to literally disintegrate the walls starting from the surface layers, causing the coatings to detach and crumbling first the plaster and then the concrete and bricks.

The disintegrating action of saltpetre is initially slow, but tends to accelerate in proportion to the influx of humidity into the walls; in this case, therefore, there are no shortcuts or the possibility of using a do-it-yourself antisalniter . The problem must be faced at the exact moment in which it begins to manifest itself and to do so you must necessarily rely on professionals.

First of all, they will have to establish the causes of the problem, that is to identify the exact points from which the infiltrations of humidity and water come, in order to understand how to intervene to block the flow into the walls and load-bearing structures. Only at that point will it be possible to proceed, with specific products or targeted treatments, to completely “dry” the humidity present in the walls.

All the do-it-yourself remedies focused on eliminating only the superficial efflorescence of saltpeter, including the use of dehumidifiers and salt lamps, are only palliatives that allow to momentarily slow down the external manifestation of degradation, but do not stop the disintegration of the layers. deep.

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