DESCRIPTIONS OF CLASSICAL METHODS IN EXISTING BUILDINGS, WHAT THEY CAN AND CANNOT RESOLVE

Description of the Classical Method: It is a sort of skin replacement method applied to a building to increase its visual quality and inhabitability.   It has different functions depending on its usage.  Its application methods include plaster, paint, spread embedding and injection. It contains main functions such as heat, sound and water insulation rather than visual properties.

Operations for the purpose of preventing capillary humidity are also carried out.  The most common of those are:

1- Bitumen-containing membrane applications

2- Impermeable plaster applications

3- Injection applications

4- Drainage applications

1) Bitumen Containing Membrane (Bundling) Applications

Bitumen containing materials consist of petroleum containing and PVC-based materials. These materials are water proof in essence.  Insulation with these materials is implemented to the foundation and external wall basement elevation either by heating or using chemical adhesives. A thickness of 1,5 to 4 mm is applied to extend the intended water insulation and durability. This insulation method entails application through a bundling system covering the foundation as well as footings and requires proper workmanship for maximum efficiency.  Such an insulation works efficiently only if it is implemented such that to provide protection against external factors.  However, TSE does not foresee a lifetime of more than 5 years for any bundling insulation.  Such insulations do not last long in Turkey due to workmanship and material quality and effects of external factors. The insulation can lose its effectiveness even in a time half of its intended lifetime. In such cases, water starts leaking into the building from the point where insulation layer is damaged. Such leakages which mainly occur in the foundation area and under the basement elevation climb upwards using the capillary gaps starting from the foundation or the area where it comes into contact with the floor.  The building is saturated with humidity after a while and water creates a humid environment by evaporating through the pores of the interior walls.

The methodology used to resolve such cases is to dig the soil coming into contact with the exterior wall until reaching the foundation and apply bundling to the leakage area again using the same method. However, the only way to remove the humidity and moisture out of the building is ventilation. But ventilation can remove only 1% of the humidity inside. Most of the time, it is not possible to ventilate basements properly.

If bundling is applied to the foundation of a building, it becomes vulnerable to soil moisture and capillary rise cannot be prevented.  Here, insulation is applied only to exterior walls.  Therefore only the parts subject to bundling are protected against groundwater.

2- Impermeable plaster applications

There are abundant amount of products in the market for this type of insulation.  Plaster applications are included in the smeared insulation group within the system. Some plasters that are good in this field can prevent the moisture inside the wall from coming out of the interior wall with the chemicals they contain.   Chemicals which crystallise upon contact with water are added in the material to provide it with the said property. This insulation method is implemented by spreading the grout prepared with water to the wall surface. The effect which stops water getting in and out is accomplished through the penetration of crystallised material into the surface it is applied on.  This material which can penetrate maximum a few centimetres inside the surface comes into contact with the water in the pre-existing capillaries, then hardens and becomes solid through crystallisation.

It can be thought that this application prevents moisture and humidity. Yet, it is far from being a solution to prevent the pre-existing established capillary moisture rising from the foundation. Moisture will continuously move inside the building trying to find an exit point through which it can escape by evaporating.  The exit point of moisture will be located outside the insulation area.  This application will not bring any benefit other than transferring the problem to another area.

Another application similar to plaster application is a type of insulation which crystallises upon contact with water and is spread with a brush as a water insulation material.  This insulation method applied in surfaces posing problems works just like cements containing chemical additives.  It penetrates maximum a few cm inside the building and crystallises upon contact with water in the capillary spaces.   The convenient side of this application is that it can be spread with a brush and the required thickness to obtain the intended effect is very low. That a thickness of 1-2 mm can be applied very easily renders this insulation type appealing.  However, it can not in the least present a solution for the capillary rise of moisture.

3- Injection Applications

It is another method applied to hinder capillary moisture. Its application consist of drilling closely set holes on the walls containing capillary moisture, at an approximately 0.5-1 m distance above the base and then conducting pressurised injection into these holes. The injected material is usually a epoxy or silicon-based material.  Silicon and epoxy, which are impermeable and binding in essence, block the water and stop its advance with their impermeable nature. Silicon or epoxy material injected proceeds among the capillary spaces, push the water residing in the capillaries and replaces it.   When applied along a certain line, injection process can block the path of water moving up in capillary channels for some time. However, it is not possible to prevent the capillary moisture from rising again from the floor up to the injection line since the injection line is formed above the floor. Another disadvantage of this method is that it cannot remove the pre-existing capillary moisture residing in the building. The moisture located above the injection line continues to rise using the capillary spaces it can find and keeps damaging the building. Parts under the injection line, on the other hand, are affected by capillary rise of moisture and this aggressiveness never comes to an end.  Moisture watching for new capillary spaces will start posing problems by using these new paths.

When we assess the abovementioned, it can be said that although injection applications seem to present solution for a certain period of time, they only have a retarding effect and pose new problems after a while.  Furthermore, injection could give irreparable damages to constructional components during its application on brick and concrete walls if the amount of pressure is not controlled properly.

4- Drainage applications

Water removal system formed with drainage pipes is the most frequent example of embedded insulation type.

In this system drainage type pipes are embedded as far under the floor level as possible.  Water flowing underground passes through the holes on the drainage pipes and gets inside when it hits one of them and proceeds towards the target it is supposed to reach within the drainage system.  This target is located at a point with a slope opposite to that of the building so that it leaves this point and moves away from the building or is accumulated in a well where pipes are connected to and sent out of the building with a pump.  Thus the liquid water entering the building is removed and its contact with the foundation and floor is prevented.

This system cannot prevent capillary moisture formation as much as it reduces the damages of liquid water and speed of capillary system to a large extent.  Presence of moisture in the soil is sufficient for capillary moisture formation. Moisture inside the soil cannot be eliminated with drainage. Therefore, capillary formation continues all the time.

To conclude, there is no system or technology other than Mirline moisture removal system that can stop the rising capillary moisture and remove the pre-existing capillary moisture and salt residing in the building.