Microemulsion Solutions for Treatment of Rising Damp
Structural building parts of waterproof concrete not only have to carry loads but also must protect against water seepage. Ensuring water tightness without additional sealing of the main joints leads to lower construction costs and also simplifies and speeds up the construction process.
Unlike interior or exterior solutions where waterproofing is applied to masonry surfaces, a damp-proof course is a horizontal barrier inside a wall which prevents moisture from rising through the structure by capillary action. Horizontal barrier materials penetrate the fine pores and capillaries in the masonry, filling these and providing hydrophobic protection as they dry and harden. A damp-proof course is always used in conjunction with other waterproofing measures when moisture or salt damage is repaired during building refurbishment. Rising damp not only affects old buildings but can also be a problem in newer buildings that are less than 10 years old. Protective barriers that effectively prevent rising damp and water penetration are often absent or inadequate, even today. Without such barriers, water can penetrate underground structures and rise through masonry walls by capillary action. As the rising water contains salts, salt efflorescences also become visible
When Masonry Is Extremely Wet
Extremely wet masonry is dried and damp proofed in one operation. Hot air at 100°C is forced into the wall so that it can better absorb the microemulsion solution when it is applied later. Microemulsions are very low-viscosity fluids which are able to penetrate into and seal masonry walls.
These solutions are injected in through drill holes with and without pressure until the masonry is completely saturated. Moisture can no longer rise up in masonry walls that are sealed from the inside.
Rising damp and the causes
So, if the damp area is only within the bottom 1 metre or so of the wall, it's a sure indication of rising damp. The cause of this is usually one of two things:
The damp proof course (dpc), an impermeable membrane set low down in the wall, may be bridged somewhere. In other words, something is providing a route for the moisture to get past the dpc.
Examples of this might be soil in a flower bed which is too high along the wall, or a patio which has been laid too high, and without due consideration for the dpc. In both cases, remedial action will need to be taken to overcome the problem.
In some instances, the dpc may have broken down. An example of this might be an old property where slate was used as a dpc, and there has been some movement causing the slate to fracture. Once this has happened, the water can be drawn up into the brickwork above. In some very old properties, there may be no dpc at all.The correct proceedure for dealing with a broken dpc is to have either a new section fitted in the area or, to have a chemical injected into the wall to make that section impervious. Both these jobs are normally carried out by specialists who should also be able to provide a guarantee on the work.