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Drying behaviour of floor and wall constructions after water damage with artificial drying methods

: Zegowitz, Andreas; Renzl, Anna Maria; Hofbauer, Wolfgang; Meyer, Jörg; Künzel, Hartwig M.

Freitas, Vasco Peixoto de (Ed.) ; Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto -FEUP-; Univ. Porto, Faculty of Engineering:
ISBP 2015, 1st International Symposium on Building Pathology : Conference proceedings; March 24-27, 2015; Porto, Portugal
Porto: FEUP, 2015
ISBN: 978-972-752-175-3
International Symposium on Building Pathology (ISBP) <1, 2015, Porto>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IBP ()

The Water damage in buildings and building components because of leaking pipes and more and more because of floods and severe weather require professional help. Methods for analysing the cause of damage have to be developed or improved as well as repair and remediation techniques. Therefore, large scale laboratory tests with four rooms with three types of masonry walls and typical floors for intermediate storeys with insulation have been performed within a climate simulator. Artificial water damage was provoked through watering the floors, and the dispersion of water in the floors and the rising damp in the walls was measured. In the follow-up to the watering of the floors, a company which is specialized in drying wet buildings installed different drying systems for under-floor drying and wall drying. The drying process of the different components and layers of the floor construction and walls was monitored by a measuring system with more than 300 sensors for moisture content, relative humidity and temperature accompanied by thermography. After providing an initial contamination that is typical for construction sites, the microbial load (mould infestation) within the wet components was monitored at different times by experienced biologists. The aim of the research was to gain more confidence in selecting appropriate drying procedures and systems and to assess success control methods that identify the moment for terminating the drying process by on-the-spot-checks of exhaust air humidity and other parameters. At the same time the research delivers a lot of useful data for the validation of computer simulations reproducing the hygrothermal behaviour of wet building components at ambient conditions representative for water damage occurrence and subsequent technical drying. This leads the way to more accurate planning of remedial measures by applying hygrothermal simulation tools.