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Domestic Block of Flats, Essex - Stormdry Protects Compromised Cavity Wall Insulation

Background

A block of flats suffering from penetrating damp in Essex

This domestic block of flats was constructed in the 1950s. It is a typical tower block construction using various materials but the main construction method used was a standard fletton brick cavity-wall structure with a resin-bonded bead cavity wall insulation. The building is located close to the sea and is highly exposed to the elements.

For quite some time, residents had been experiencing damp patches and spoiling decor on their weather-facing interior walls. Anglia Decor were called in by the owners of the building to survey the problem.

The Problem

Anglia Decor carried out a full investigation of the building and determined that the high porosity and bad condition of the exterior walls was the cause of the problem. The problem consisted of four main elements:

  1. Being close to the sea and with no other buildings of similar size in the vicinity, the building caught the full force of wind and rain from the sea
  2. There was significant degradation of the mortar on the brick walls
  3. The bricks themselves were highly porous and absorbed large amounts of moisture in bad weather.
  4. As the cavity of the wall had been filled with insulation, moisture was able to track from the exterior leaf through to the interior leaf of the wall.

The Solution

To allow for correct access, scaffolding was erected up to the full height of the building. A subcontractor was employed to carry out a complete repointing of the brickwork. Once those works were complete and the new pointing cured, an application of Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream was carried out by Anglia.

Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream is a breathable single-coat masonry weatherproofer that is applied to brick, stone, concrete or masonry by brush, roller or sprayer. Once applied, the silane/siloxane cream emulsion will absorb into the substrate and cure to make the surface weatherproof for a BBA approved 25 years, without changing its look or texture.

“We were very happy to see Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream on the specification. We like the 25 year lifespan and we always see it get positive reviews.” says Steve Massey, Managing Director at Anglia Decor.

A Stormdry treated wall is still 90% as breathable as an untreated wall. The entry of water in liquid form is blocked but water vapour is able to pass freely, meaning residual moisture in walls is able to evaporate and exit the wall. This was an important factor for this particular job because the wet insulation needed to be able to dry out in order to eliminate the damp patches and to restore the insulation’s performance.

Within a couple of months of the completion of works, it was already being reported by the building owners and residents that the walls were drying out and the damp patches receding.

For more information call
01403 210204