Letter to the Editor: Salt attack!
Ben Burdett from EFFLOCK was prompted to respond to the claims made in the video. Here’s what he had to say:
This is a silly sensationalist attack on salt water pools. Chlorine is also an aggressive chemical in strong concentrations. The ‘pocking’ of the pool surrounds referred to in the video is because the stone has not been sealed (or a sealer has not been reapplied by the owner).
Salt damage is going to occur to any surrounding masonry that is porous, and that is why sealers are used. If masonry is allowed to absorb water, it is also absorbing dissolved salt in solution. As soon as the masonry dries and water evaporates, the salt is left behind to crystallise. Exponentially more salt is deposited until there is enough salt to form large salt crystals that expand in excess of the pore size within the masonry.
The crystallisation pressure of most salt exceeds 200 megapascals (MPa), yet the resistant (tensile) strength of even high-strength concrete is only 10 MPa, so masonry loses every time. Preventing water absorption prevents salt attack.
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