Capillary rising (or rising) humidity is a very common phenomenon in all types of structures. Constructive precautions to avoid the phenomenon are not always taken, so as to contain costs or reduce time. Therefore, in this article we will pass over the most effective construction methods, applicable during the initial construction phase, and focus on the systems to eliminate rising damp definitively in existing buildings (often inhabited).
In previous articles, we have specifically dealt with the most widespread methods, summarized here to make their different characteristics clear immediately.
Why do you have damp walls? Why does humidity rise?
Moisture rising occurs following physical principles (capillaries, magnetic attraction, etc.), here not discussed for simplicity. We will simply explain the dynamics of rising damp phenomenon, to allow anyone to approach the dehumidification proposals with awareness. First of all, we shall think of rising damp as a continuous and cyclical process
, articulated in various stages and, more specifically, in:
into the base of building material
through the capillaries of building materials
-expansion of humidity
towards more porous areas of the building
-water evaporation and crystallization of salts
in the moisture
Each phase just described has serious consequences and particularly during rising damp salts tend to corrode metals (think of reinforced concrete) inside the structure, weakening it, and subsequently in the evaporation phase they crystallize, cracking plaster; water evaporation instead contributes to increasing the indoor humidity of the building, reducing comfort.
Secondly we shall specify that humidity is not water, but rather a solution of water and other components (including salts), very harmful for the structures; you can learn more about this topic here.
Once taking the rising damp concept on board, we can tackle all the solutions on the market with awareness and critically.
Overview of rising damp remedies:
Below is a list of proposed methods for solving rising damp, without examining the actual effectiveness of each one, but with a brief description (if you want to learn more, just click on the name of the "remedy"):
-underfloor cavity (Vespaio)
: it a ventilated under-ground cavity made into the buildings r to improve the indoor conditions of the houses. Specifically, it has the function of separating the habitable slab from the ground below, avoiding the contact of the first one with the humidity of the latter one;
-physical cutting of the walls
: the method provides, as the name implies, a real cut parallel to the ground, at the base of the wall, that will be filled with waterproofing material (each company uses different materials);
-chemical barriers (or chemical cutting)
: it consists of making wall holes, in which "injectors" are inserted ; they inject, inside the walls, a chemical material (usually liquid), which creeps into the cavities of the wall, creating an impermeable barrier that prevents humidity from rising above the application level;
: they are metal bars (normally made of steel) long enough to penetrate both the masonry and the ground (normally longer than 2-3 meters). Once installed (in a variable number based on specific factors and on all the walls of the structure), by electrostatic effect they polarize spontaneously and behave like electric dipoles, balancing pre-existing electric fields and compensating for their charges;
: they are materials with a chemical or natural base that allow a high transpiration degree of the walls;
-active electrophysical dehumidification: this technology, introduced in Italy in the distant 2001 by SKM - Soluzioni Kalibrate per Murature
(and subsequently reproposed by various companies), through the emission of a weak electromagnetic field, blocks the humidity below the walls; it can be applied on any type of masonry and dehumidifies both the walls and the floors, preventing moisture from affecting the building;
-passive electrophysical dehumidification: it is based on the principle of processing and re-proposing the Ground magnetic field to dehumidify the walls.
How to choose the final solution?
In the panorama of dehumidification there are many possibilities of solving the rising damp problem; excluding (if we have read up to here, by now we can do this ourselves) the "solutions" that hide the problem, but do not go right to its cause, it will be necessary to assess whether the application is compatible with our needs and if the cost is within our reach .
For example, the underfloor cavity (Vespaio) is a very valid method (if correctly carried out) but hardly compatible, due to costs and timing, with rehabilitation of an existing building, while it is significantly simpler to implement during the building stage.
For almost 20 years, SKM Italia
has been dealing with the dehumidification of walls, through KontrolDRY
technology. It is a definitive and lifetime guaranteed solution
that requires no masonry intervention. It has no contraindications and it’s applicable on any type of masonry Installation takes a few minutes and does not cause any discomfort
in the home. Dehumidification will be completed in a variable time based on construction and environmental parameters and in any case not beyond 24 months.
Over 18 years’ experience and over 2100 installations are the first guarantee for public and private customers.
The company, which has over 50 professionals throughout the national territory, offers free inspections and estimates accompanied by highly technical expertise. You can ask for more information or contact from a technician by clicking here