The damage and costly disruption that can be caused when water ingress in buildings is allowed to continue over a sustained period can be financially crippling to authorities and companies alike. The situation that the education sector and potentially many other public and private building owners find themselves in considering the RAAC inspections is challenging on many fronts, but safety must always come first.
In situations where the building fabric has become unsafe – replacement is the only course of action. However, in areas where concrete – having been inspected – is not considered to have degraded or present immediate risk, then a longer-term mitigation, monitoring and potential future replacement plan can be adopted – as and when necessary.
In all cases it’s important that in the time between initial assessment, and during continued monitoring that the concrete is protected from any further or future water ingress. The level of protection required can be achieved using Infusion – a one-way water barrier impregnation.
Infusion is an impregnation for porous mineral substrates which has been developed specifically to prevent the issue that is affecting RAAC – the ingress of water and its’ consequent corrosion of the concretes’ steel reinforcement.
The key performance attributes that make Infusion particularly effective are that it:
- is easy pour / spray application and can be retro applied to existing concrete.
- creates a permanent water barrier against ingress – yet crucially remains breathable – which means that any remaining moisture within the structure will exit as vapour (this is a key issue, as polymeric coatings create impermeable barriers through which existing moisture cannot escape)
- has been tested and certified according to TL/TP OS-A of ZTV SIB 90 and EN1504-2, It may also be used as OS 1 system and according to principle 1,2,5 and 6 of EN 1504-9
- meets all REACH requirements and does not contain any SVHCs (Substances of Very High Concern)
- leaves substrates visually unchanged – save for a possible slight colour / shade enhancement
Due to Infusion impregnating the porous substrate and working from within, external beading behaviour cannot be seen as a reliable indicator of the efficiency of the hydrophobic functionality. To prove performance and efficiency on treated substrates the TQC Sheen Karsten Tube Penetration Test can be used without causing any structural damage.
Following comprehensive analysis and extrapolation of results, the predicted service life of Infusion coated substrates can be assessed and illustrated up to 120 years. The ability to extend the safe and serviceable lifespan of the last centuries concrete architecture can contribute extensively to minimising the need to rebuild and replace existing building structures – thereby reducing the use of natural resources, energy, and rebuilding costs in the long term. Infusion has an important contribution to make to sustainable building standards – for todays’ problem solving and tomorrows’ futureproofing against perennial corrosion issues.