Waterproofing of architectural monuments

Unfortunately, in this world all that is of any value cannot last forever. Time can change everything and turn even the hardest stone to dust. It also applies to what man vainly wants to leave behind when he is gone – architecture. Any ancient town with historically valuable buildings constantly faces the problem of renovation, restoration and maintenance of listed buildings in good condition. Just like time, water often is a powerful force that can conquer many things, including historic buildings. Almost always during restoration it becomes apparent that moisture begins to destroy a building starting from the “roots” – its foundation. In such cases hydro-proofing of the building being maintained is needed.

Underground water problem

Most frequently this problem occurs at the sites where the soil is fed by a dense underground water network which can be the reason for excessive moistening of the building’s foundation. The reasons can also include:

  • improperly arranged surface water drainage;
  • capillary infiltration from nearby moisture-saturated soils;
  • “cultural stratification”, i.e. the rise in the level of roadway surfacing which drives the basement part of the building further and further deep into the ground;
  • constant cosmetic repairs due to lack of funds for full-scale restoration of the building, during which layers of plaster, concrete and other finishing materials are superimposed, quality and quantity of the materials depend solely on financial situation of local authorities at the time of the repairs.

Injection proofing used to protect buildings from moisture requires polyurethane materials, mineral- and polysiloxane-based materials. Basically, injection proofing is as follows: the mixture penetrates the wall’s structure under pressure and congeals, no matter what is the material of the wall: concrete, stone or brick. The waterproofing material expands in the capillaries and prevents infiltration and accumulation of unwanted moisture.

It often happens during the repairs that the foundation is hard to free from the ground in order to perform other waterproofing operations, and such kind of restoration work presents a good alternative. Characteristic features of the materials used in such operations are as follows:

  • greater expansion capacity;
  • complete waterproofness;
  • high elasticity;
  • frost-resistance;
  • cost effectiveness

Such characteristics set this method apart from the others; besides, many waterproofing mixtures are ready-made, which can reduce the time needed to perform restoration works.