The primary aim of a structural engineer is to ensure that the building is safe from a structural point of view. However, this stability might be compromised by something as simple as dampness. The structure should be free of moisture. Otherwise, they will not be suitable for habitation. Therefore, this blog will explore the causes and treatment techniques for preventing leakage.
Jacob Engineers have a team of structural engineers in Chennai who consider every little detail to ensure 100% safety and stability of the structure. We too have an expertise team in waterproofing, taking extensive steps for leakage treatment in buildings.
Causes of Leakage
1 – Weather conditions
Exterior walls exposed to heavy showers can be a source of leaks. Also, the water accumulated on rooftops could seep into the structure as well. Therefore structural engineers safeguard such vital spots from moisture and dampness. Other places would include parapet walls, compound walls, and exposed tops.
- If walls are having least exposure to sunshine, then the chances of leakage are high after a heavy shower.
- Walls are damp for a brief time after their construction.
- Defective rainwater drains, pipe joints, and improper connections may also cause leakage.
2 – Leakage through walls
The cause for the leakage through walls might be any one of the following:
- No facias or chajjas on openings.
- Absence of waterproof plastering, stone cladding, and painting.
- Improper orientation and wind direction.
- Inadequate damp proof course.
- No plinth protection.
Effects of leakage
Dampness puts the structure at risk over time. The building becomes unsafe for the occupants to live in because moisture will compromise the strength of the structural elements. Hence, Jacob Engineers’ skilled structural engineer in Chennai prioritizes identifying regions where there is leakage and fixing it immediately. Here are some effects of leakage:
- Metals in the building start to corrode.
- Timber decays because of dry rot as a result of a damp environment.
- All electric fittings deteriorate due to dampness.
- Patches formation on ceilings and walls.
Measures to prevent leakage
The first step in preventing leaks is to thoroughly inspect the roofs, joints, and parapets before the monsoon hits the area. Apart from this preliminary check, there are other measures to ensure the building is leak-proof:
- A damp-proof course of 25 to 40 mm thickness is a must. It should be of cement concrete mix in the ratio of 1:2:4 at plinth level using bitumen paint and 10 mm nominal aggregate.
- The outer walls must have a descending slope away from the plinth with compacted earth.
- Utilize facias and chajjas on all openings equipped with a drip course. It will prevent water from entering the structure.
- Down take pipes of 100/150 mm in diameter should be placed every 30 to 40 sq. meters.
- Repainting or plastering can reduce seepage.
- Orientation plays a pivotal role in decreasing leakage. It is always a good practice to have minimum openings in walls in the windward direction.
- If expansion joints are not installed and maintained correctly, they can be a constant source of leakage. To control leakage at expansion joints and ensure that they work smoothly during expansion. Once a year, the sealing compound used to seal the expansion joints should be thoroughly tested for its integrity.
Jacob Engineers is one of the best structural engineering companies in Chennai because of its systematic approach to structural designing and structural health assessment.
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