Silent Destruction

In older buildings without damp proofing in Eastbourne, you often see a common damage problem. In the lower areas of the foundation wall, the paint peels or plaster flakes off. The damage is so severe the joint work is damaged and the structural stability is endangered. All these damage patterns have a common cause, rising or wicking moisture. The moisture is soaked up by capillary action just like a sponge.

Water Damage
The water transports minerals including damaging salts which are deposited in the wall and on the surface. On the areas where the moisture can evaporate, the damage is most visible. The salts crystallise on the surface and destroy the plaster and masonry. The results are flaking plaster, destruction of mortar joints, reduced heat insulation and damage to the building structure.

Damage Analysis
Before the damaged wall is repaired, an analysis should be conducted by an expert. During the analysis, the salt and moisture content of the wall should be measured and the cause and extent of the damage quantified. Only a thorough damage analysis can a suitable repair approach be established.

The Chemical Solution
Depending on different companies, and the damage level, some will opt to use chemical solutions which are injected into the wall to block off the capillaries that water rises through. These methods are also suitable for walls with high moisture levels and salt content. The old, salt damaged plasters are removed and the wall cleaned of loose particles, then the horizontal barriers are installed. Water impermeable solutions and repellents are added into the wall. The chemicals are water resistant solutions which prevent capillary action.

The Alternative Solution
Other companies opt to use external basement proofing systems. They involve digging an external trench below the footer. The excavation extends around the footer until it’s drained of water. When they’re dry, liquid plastics are applied to the exterior wall and left to dry up and harden. They keep the water from infiltrating the wall. Gravel perforated pipes are laid into the trench; they keep the water from coming up through the ground. Once the perforated pipes are laid, they’re covered with gravel. That prevents water and moisture from entering through the over-footing, under-footing, water cracks, mortar joints or floor cracks. From there, repair works on the wall follow.

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