Residents of a 12-storey tower block on the Essex coast are now enjoying damp-free conditions and unspoilt interiors after contractors waterproofed their building with Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream from Safeguard Europe.Penetrating damp had been an issue for those living in the 1950s block in Frinton for some time as they suffered damp patches and spoilt décor on their weather-facing interior walls. Anglia Décor, an industrial and commercial painting contractor based in Rayleigh were contacted to undertake work to help stop the problem.
Anglia Decor surveyed the building, which is a standard fletton brick cavity-wall structure with a resin-bonded bead cavity insulation and found that the issue stemmed from a combination of materials, build type and location – next to the sea and heavily exposed to wind and rain. Anglia concluded that high brick porosity permitted a significant level of rainwater absorption, compounded by pointing failures, allowing rain to bridge the cavity insulation, resulting in penetrating damp to the interiors.
To solve the issue, the brickwork needed to be repointed completely and then, once the mortar had cured, coated with Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream. “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.
The cost of the scaffolding required for the whole height of the tower block was kept to a minimum because Stormdry is fast and easy to apply by either brush or roller and cures colourlessly to the original finish of masonry in just 12 hours.
Stormdry is particularly suitable for such applications as it leaves the appearance of the surface unchanged and the treated wall still 90% as breathable as an untreated wall. The treatment prevents future water penetration yet allows water vapour to leave, so that any residual moisture can evaporate from the building. In this case it meant that the wet insulation could start to dry out, restoring its performance and driving out the damp patches.
With an active ingredient level of 40% – compared to concentrations as low as 2.5% for some competitors – Stormdry is both more effective at excluding moisture from masonry and has a significantly longer life expectancy at 25 years, as certified by the British Board of Agrément (BBA). It subjected Stormdry to accelerated ageing tests and other performance criteria including: water repellency, condensation risk, freeze/thaw resistance and UV resistance.
The cream also penetrates far more deeply than other water repellents – up to 12 mm in fletton bricks – so that it can also bridge cracks and better keep out moisture. This depth of penetration also contributes to the effectiveness of Stormdry in improving the energy performance of buildings, which the Energy Saving Trust recognised when it categorised the product as ‘verified’.
The trust operates a verification scheme that provides independent evaluation of performance for energy-efficient products and, after considering peer-reviewed scientific papers and the results of extensive long-term testing, it declared Stormdry ‘verified’. Stormdry is also classified under VAT Notice 708/6 as an energy-saving measure that qualifies for a reduced VAT rate of 5%.