Water penetrating and entering into a building, which then leads to further dampness problems, is no doubt the most common and often most troublesome issue that affects buildings.
There are various types and causes of water ingress and dampness issues, that need to be properly assessed for each case, in order to determine the root cause of each problem, as well as to ensure that effective long-term solutions are implemented.
For example, there may be weatherproofing issues, where gaps and a leak path is present, allowing water to enter the building structure. Generally, rectification would involve covering the area with suitable flashings or sealants.
However, water may penetrate through the building structure itself, as typical building materials (e.g. brickwork, concrete, stone and timber) are naturally porous. To prevent this type of problem, ‘waterproofing’ of the material would be required. Waterproofing involves the installation of an impervious barrier, such as a membrane, to the surface of a structure, to prevent water penetrating into and through the structure. Typically, waterproofing is required in bathrooms, laundries, balconies, roof decks, building facades, retaining walls and planter boxes.
Apart from the more apparent water leakage type problems, such as leaking windows, that may be noticed during a storm event, other, ongoing dampness issues may be present, such as ‘rising damp’. Rising damp is quite a common problem, particularly for lower level walls (especially if an effective damp-proof course wasn’t originally installed in the wall) and occurs when ground water rises up into the cracks and pores in the brickwork, through capillary action. The resulting excessive moisture in the wall tends to cause deterioration of the various building elements – e.g. structural weakening of brickwork, metal corrosion, efflorescence, dry rot in timber, flaking paint, etc.
Also, the ongoing dampness may allow the growth of mould and mildew, which may cause health issues such as respiratory problems, allergies, skin conditions and asthma.
- Water ingress, typically between the window or door frame and the wall opening, due to poor weatherproofing/sealing/flashings (also see ‘Window and Door Repairs’)
- Ineffective or lack of damp-proof course, at the lower part of the external walls, leading to rising damp problems
- Ineffective or lack of waterproofing membrane, allowing moisture to penetrate through the porous wall or floor materials
- Inadequate weep holes, ventilation or water drainage
EXAMPLES OF OUR SOLUTIONS
- Inspect and investigate into the specific causes of any water ingress or rising damp, as well as of any associated mould or mildew problems
- Recommend and provide effective long-term solutions, with our Waterproofing Specialist Team, to eliminate the sources and conditions that have led to excessive moisture problems
- Determining the most suitable waterproofing system type (e.g. polyurethane, acrylic or torch-on bituminous type membranes), for the particular application, such as for the following:
- For Bathrooms – typically we would apply two coats of polyurethane type membrane to the floor and walls, followed by a screed base on the floor. Polyurethane sealant would then be applied to all joints. Then two coats of acrylic-based membrane would be applied over the screed, ready for re-tiling
- For Basements and Retaining Walls – for the whole wall we would apply a negative-side type membrane, particularly if there is no access behind the wall. For localised water penetration issues, in concrete, we would usually apply Drizoro Maxplug
- For Metal or Tiled Roofs – we would firstly ensure flashings and cappings are installed correctly, as well as apply weather-resistant sealant to various joints, for further weatherproofing protection
- For Concrete Roofs – we would seal all joints, then apply a torch-on bituminous waterproof membrane, which is also suitable for trafficable areas
- For Planter Boxes – ideally, we would re-render the surfaces, prior to applying the waterproof membrane, as well as installing Atlantis drainage cells, geo-tech fabric and ag-lines
- For Exposed Concrete and Stone Tiles – we typically apply a highly effective penetrating sealer
- Rectify rising damp, by installing new damp-proof course, apply new render and a waterproof membrane to the wall. Additionally, any associated water drainage or ventilation issues would be addressed
- Repair or replace leaking windows or doors, including installing new flashings, beadings and sealants (also see ‘Window and Door Repairs’)
- Applying highly effective and durable sealants to joints and interfaces