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Agyekum, K, Blay, K and Opoku, A (2019) Mechanisms for preventing rising damp in new building infrastructure. International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, 37(01), 87–107.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Building infrastructure; Damp proof coatings; Damp proof courses; Dense concrete; Rising damp; Test wall;
- ISBN/ISSN: 2398-4708
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-06-2018-0048
Capillary rise of water in buildings has been an issue of concern among past and present researchers. Despite the research efforts devoted to the proper elimination of the problem in masonry construction, it still remains a challenge that needs to be addressed. The purpose of this paper is to explore treatment mechanisms that can be used to prevent rising damp in new building infrastructure.
Design/methodology/approachIn total, 14 test walls are constructed, conditioned, subjected to various treatments and monitored for four years. The treatments applied to the walls include the use of polyethylene damp proof courses, damp proof coatings and dense concrete bases. The walls are then monitored with reference to the two climate seasons in Ghana. FindingsThe results highlight that rising damp is present, as suggested by the constant increase and decrease in the height of the water levels in the walls during the rainy and dry seasons, respectively. The findings further reveal that within the four-year period, the walls treated with the damp proof coatings, together with those with the dense concrete bases performed better than those treated with the polyethylene damp proof courses. Research limitations/implicationsThe economic and commercial impact of these preventive mechanisms were not considered in this study. A future research can be directed at these issues. Practical implicationsThe proposed treatment mechanisms highlight the effectiveness of some treatments applied to walls to prevent the capillary rise of water from the ground into the superstructure. Social implicationsBuilding regulations, especially in Ghana and other tropical settings should be amended to include ways to prevent rising damp phenomena by including effective methods against rising damp during the building design or construction. Originality/valueSeries of studies worldwide have been conducted in laboratories to simulate the capillary rise of water in walls of buildings. This is among the few studies that look at how water rises from actual ground conditions into the walls of buildings.