Guardians of Architecture – The Importance of Masonry Waterproofing
Stunning architectural sculptures, from county courthouses and churches to skyscrapers with intricate sculptural decoration too high above street level for passersby to enjoy, personify the remarkable strength of human endeavor. Unfortunately, these structures face constant threats from water damage.
Beautiful brick, stone, and masonry walls require a protective moisture barrier. Masonry waterproofing products offer several benefits.
Protects Brick and Stone Walls from Moisture Penetration
Brick, stone, and masonry are incredibly dense but very porous materials. It allows moisture to penetrate deep into masonry substrates, where it can cause damage and even structural failure.
Unlike acrylic paints or paint-like products that only cover the brick, stone, or masonry surface, The masonry substrate must be in good condition and free of significant defects, bridged DPCs / rising damp and hygroscopic salts before application.
A professional mason can evaluate your masonry and recommend the proper treatment. Once the masonry is prepared and treated, masonry waterproofing will protect your masonry walls for decades. It’s an intelligent investment in the longevity of your home or commercial property. It’s a great alternative to replacing your masonry wall and can save you thousands in repair costs.
Efflorescence is the whitish, chalky deposit of water-soluble salts on brick, concrete, paving stones, and other types of masonry. It’s most noticeable during the winter and spring when moisture in the masonry structure evaporates, leaving the dissolved salts behind. While it’s a cosmetic issue, it can also indicate moisture penetration, which may lead to more severe problems.
Masonry waterproofing protects against the formation of these unsightly deposits. It does so by forming an integral barrier to prevent water penetration and the absorption of water-soluble salts within the pores of the masonry surface.
Efflorescence can be prevented by using an impregnating hydrophobic sealant that will stop moisture from absorbing into the masonry substrate and by installing capillary breaks to help reduce water flow into basements, foundations, and retaining walls. Moisture penetration can also be reduced by ensuring proper construction techniques and using quality masonry materials during and after construction.
Prevents Cracking and Leaks
Masonry Waterproofing prevents damage from moisture penetration that can cause hairline cracks, mortar deterioration, and dangerous mold, mildew, and algae growth in brick walls and chimneys. It does so by forming a barrier against moisture penetration, reducing permeability, and eliminating the need for expensive repairs and clean-ups.
Before applying masonry waterproofer, all surfaces should be clean and free of grease, oil, form-release compound, or old paint. All joints should be sealed with a good-quality joint sealant, and cracks should be filled with a suitable masonry cement or caulking material.
Prevents Radon Penetration
The odorless, colorless gas radon emerges from the decay of radium and uranium in soil and rocks beneath homes. It can then enter the basement and crawl spaces through cracks in foundation walls, construction joints, sump holes, and plumbing penetrations. It can also migrate through a suspended floor to the living area above. Long-term radon exposure is known to cause lung cancer in cigarette smokers and nonsmokers as well.
Waterproofing prevents radon penetration by forming an impenetrable barrier between the soil and the structure. It can be accomplished using barriers tested and approved for their diffusion, strength, and durability properties.
Brick, stone, and masonry construction provide unique aesthetics with load-bearing qualities. However, they are vulnerable to moisture penetration, which can cause hairline cracks in masonry walls and chimneys, mortar deterioration, hazardous mold and mildew growth, and salt efflorescence. Integral waterproofing provides a protective layer that helps safeguard these valuable structures from costly damage.