Whether you are buying a new house or fixing your old one, the dampness of walls and water seepage are common problems faced by most home and building owners. Here are a few measures which can be taken to waterproof your home.
Dampness is the presence of excess moisture on the surface, and seepage is the process by which liquid flows slowly through a porous surface or hole. Although excessive rainfall over time may lead to dampness or seepage in buildings in Singapore, the most common reasons include poor quality of construction and lack of waterproofing measures during construction of the building. Such problems may lead to the dampness of the walls, efflorescence, and peeling of paint. These may be the result of any of the three classifications of damp walls.
Common types of dampness
Penetrating Dampness: One or many leaking drain pipes or hoses, a broken water pipe or running water are the major reasons behind penetrating dampness as the water tends to run over and eventually, seep through the pores into the structure. Although such a problem can be easily remedied by fixing the source of water, waterproofing chemicals are an important part of keeping this problem at bay.
Rising Dampness: When accumulated moisture starts rising from the ground up through pores due to capillary action, we call this phenomenon rising dampness. Rising damp creates problems in the lower region of the walls and causes efflorescence and peeling of the paint.
Condensation: Condensation is essentially the moisture in the air that can be taken care of by installing new ventilation systems and improving home insulation and heating processes.
Most of the time these problems may occur due to poor quality of construction and/or lack of waterproofing chemicals used during the construction of the building. Lack of use of waterproofing chemicals can cause dampness of the walls, efflorescence and the peeling of paint.
Thus, the dampness of walls must be tackled and resolved in a timely manner. However, there is a certain lack of awareness about which waterproofing chemicals and processes must be used in order to either solve these problems or avoid them altogether.
Treating mild dampness of interior walls
In case of mild damp patches, homeowners may use the following method to treat the patches and get back to painting the walls.
Although one can use the above-mentioned ways to treat the dampness in the walls, one must remember to always treat the damp area and the 2 feet of the area around it.
Interior walls: Treating severe dampness
Severe cases of dampness in walls are mostly characterized by peeling plaster, visible damp patches, and white chalky deposits. For the homeowner to tackle this issue of water leaking from walls, the plaster will have to be completely removed from the walls in order to apply to waterproof, beginning with the brick level.
Similar to the methods that may be applied to fix damp walls, there are few processes that can be used to fix walls with seepage problems as mentioned below.
To treat water seepage on walls adjoining bathroom or kitchen
The grout (area between tiles), cracks in bathrooms and kitchen tiles may cause water seepage that can result in severe dampness in the adjacent walls. Such exposure to water may cause bubbling and peeling of paint. Although bathroom and kitchen walls with seepage problems may cause seepage in adjoining walls, the seepage could also be because of leaking pipes inside the walls.
Treating dampness due to water seepage from exterior walls
Seepage in places like the mid-level walls or those around windows may have been caused due to cracks in the external walls. However, before treating the interior walls, one must repair and waterproof the exteriors by following the below-mentioned steps.
Treating dampness due to seepage from the bathroom on the floor above
Damp areas in the interior walls can arise due to leakages in the kitchen/bathroom on the floor or apartment above. However, to solve this problem, the issue needs to be treated on the RCC slab level with effective waterproofing chemicals.
Depending on the severity of the dampness and/or the seepage in the walls, you can use any of the above-mentioned methods. Treating dampness is important for restoring the health of the construction.
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