Causes, effects, and remedies of dampness in building

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Definition:
The penetration of moisture into the building components is called dampness. Obviously, this is a very unwanted phenomenon in all aspects. Dampness may be due to fault in the design or construction method or it may be because of the use of inappropriate material.

Effects of dampness in buildings

  1. If moisture penetrates through concrete and reaches to the reinforcement then this will weaken the structure.
  2. It causes rotting of the wooden furniture.
  3. It will promote the growth of the fungus in the building.
  4. As this phenomenon promotes alkali aggregate reacts it will deteriorate the structure and reduces the design span of the building.
  5. It causes blistering of the paint and so it makes an unpleasant appearance of the building.
  6. Sometimes due to dampness plaster may get spalling off.
  7. If water penetrates through footing of the building then there are chances of settlement of foundation if proper care has not been taken while designing.

blistering of paint due to dampness

Causes of Dampness in buildings.

  1. If water table below the building rises above footing due to any unpredicted phenomenon then water may enter into the foundation and consequently in the superstructure.
  2. If there are any mistakes in plumbing system and fixtures say if pipes are damaged then there is a high risk of dampness.
  3. If, at terrace, coping is not provided properly then during rainy season water will find its way to penetrate into the parapet and roof slab.
  4. Defect in the designing of the building is many times the reason for water penetration into the building element.
  5. Use of wrong method of construction leads to dampness in building.
  6. The use of degraded quality of material, say lean concrete instead of the actual specific grade of concrete will result in water penetration through water tanks.

Remedial measures of dampness in building

  • Providing proper drainage in foundation and taking care that water won’t accumulate at footing will help in this kind of situation.
  • If water tank leakage is a problem then waterproofing it with “SBR” or “bitumen” will solve the problem.
  • On roof slab, waterproofing with silicon paste is a useful measure against the rain season.
  • Providing “Damp-proof-course” in footing is a solution in case of water penetration through the foundation.

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