The drying of walls is necessary when moisture from the ground or the cellar wall moves into the masonry of the inhabited rooms and shows consequences there. Wet walls and damp brickwork reduce the energy efficiency of the property, provide a breeding ground on which microorganisms such as mould can grow, accelerate the aging of the building fabric and other disadvantages. With wall drying, you ensure that masonry and walls become dry, insulate them better and retain the paint again. In this guide we show you possible measures for your project.
The wall drying helps against damp walls, mould and salts, which let paint and plaster flake off, as well as against algae and lichens. Here you can find out everything you need to know about drying masonry.
What is wall drying?
If moisture has penetrated the brickwork or if one can even speak of moisture in the brickwork, then a drying of the brickwork is recommended. This means the removal of moisture and, in a broader sense, measures against the renewed ingress of water. In addition, a distinction can be made between the drainage of walls on the construction site in order to initiate the next construction steps, and the drainage of walls of an existing building in order to make it usable again or homely. In this context, an energy consultant can also recommend draining the wall to improve the insulation of the wall and thus reduce heating costs.
Therefore the masonry should be dry!
Dry masonry has many advantages. If walls and thus internal walls as well as the external facade are dry or do not contain an above-average amount of moisture, the house is much more homely. This is because the thermal conductivity of the wall, insulation and façade is reduced so that the house is better insulated and less energy is needed to heat and dry the interior. No mould forms on dry walls; no algae, lichens or moss settle on the outside. Colour does not flake off due to salt efflorescence, i.e. the crystallization of salts from the penetrating water. Wallpaper sticks.
Damp walls – a health hazard
Due to a permanently humid air and the associated humid walls, in which mould and other microorganisms multiply, one lives very unhealthily. Where the immune system of an adult may still be able to withstand without further illness against mould, children and seniors as well as the sick and people with immune deficiency are particularly at risk. Also animals suffer from wet stonework since also they can get sick through mold. So if you want a healthy family, a healthy pet and an energy-efficient house, you should not ignore the problem of wall dampness.
Drying walls – various drying methods
If you do not know exactly whether water penetrating from below or from the side is responsible for the damp walls or whether the masonry is damp due to incorrect ventilation or lack of heating, it is advisable to dry the wall before drying it out. Drying is carried out by means of methods familiar from everyday life such as heating and ventilation. However, these can be increased depending on the structure, construction progress and intensity of the masonry moisture.
There are various starting points and approaches for drying masonry:
- Hydrophobing by application of special colours or creams
- Adsorption of wall and air humidity by drying cabinets with desiccant
- Condensation drying, in which too moist air is cooled in a construction dryer.
- Wall drying with mobile heaters (mostly used on construction sites)
- Infrared functional ceramics for the so-called building drying process
- Installation of fans for air handling
- Dry heating and ventilation (recommended especially in flats again and again)
- Baking out, which is also used for other measures
Drying of walls – these possibilities exist
If drying does not help and moisture returns to the masonry again and again, even the best ventilation and heating will not help. The drying up of the walls can then turn out to be the last resort. Which measure is the best for your property depends, among other things, on the type of wall and the premises. For example, should the house be drained from the ground floor? Or is it also necessary to dry the masonry in the cellar?
In order to give you an overview of the various drainage processes, we have also compiled an overview for you here:
- Impregnation as a preventive measure after drying
- Waterproofing slurries, a mixture of cement and plastic for surfaces
- Hydrophobization of surfaces through appropriate measures
- Roller burnishing / capillary breaking layer under a building (rarely suitable for existing properties)
- Use of a basement tub / floor tub as a water-impermeable structure (for new buildings)
- Injection seal by injection method for strengthening and sealing soil
- Horizontal waterproofing through horizontal barrier at the foot of the masonry to prevent moisture from rising
Horizontal barrier – Our recommendation for the drying of walls
If moisture rises into your wall from below, the horizontal barrier is the best way to prevent this and to dry out the wall. The waterproofing in the wall itself, which prevents water and salts from penetrating from below, is inserted into the foot of the wall through easily sealable holes. This type of masonry drying can be carried out quite quickly and does not involve too much effort. Especially in inhabited areas the horizontal barrier is a welcome solution – only holes have to be drilled, the means for the horizontal barrier have to be provided and a little maintenance has to be done.
Whether as part of a renovation or for the removal of construction defects while the property is occupied – the horizontal barrier for masonry drying is ideal. Especially if the waterproofing is to be treated on the ground floor, in walls above the cellar or the (probably leaking) foundation, it is recommended. Details on the right product for the horizontal barrier, the proPERLA® DPC, can be found with this link. On the page you will find all information and details about the means for effective and quick wall drying while maintaining the breathability of the affected masonry. You can also contact experts directly.
Further products for beautiful and dry walls as well as facades can be found in the product overview on the proPERLA® homepage.
Cellar waterproofing – special case of refurbishment
In cellar waterproofing, the drainage of the walls by means of a horizontal barrier is rarely used. This is logical, since the moisture does not (only) affect the cellar wall from below or above, but from the side. Here the sealing of the building is rather done by an excavation on the outside of the cellar wall and the application of a seal in the form of a foil or drainage. Dry walls in the cellar can also be achieved from the inside by injecting and penetrating the cellar walls with sealants. These penetrate into the adjacent soil and block groundwater and rainwater there.
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