How to deal with humidity by capillarity

One of the nightmares of those who live on the ground floor, especially in single-family homes, is humidity by capillarity. It is rainwater accumulated in the subsoil that end up absorbing the foundations and the slabs of the houses. Fortunately, there are solutions in the market that can remedy this problem.

When rainwater, or even watering if we have a garden with abundant plants and grass, encounters difficulties to seep down into the subsoil, it ends up facing our foundations and, in an ascending way, to our façade, our walls. Beyond the aesthetic drawbacks, humidity by capillarity can bring respiratory diseases (lung infections, asthma, sinusitis …) derived from the fungi that are generated.

Not only that, but reached one point, it represents serious problems for our house, since it can affect very negatively in the pillars and walls of load, putting at risk the entire structure.

Injection of resin

One of the solutions that are being given to this problem is the chemical injections. The method consists of injecting inside the wall a substance – a resin based on polymers, silicone type – able to repel water and prevent it from being absorbed by the foundation.

To implement this humidity treatment by capillarity, the baseboards are usually removed and a series of perforations is carried out on the wall, in order to subsequently introduce the cannula that injects the resin. In extreme cases, the drilling point could be raised to get the horizontal barrier to humidity, but it is not advisable to do it above 1.20 meters.

As is logical, the method requires multiple holes, about 12 millimeters in diameter and a separation between them that moves in the range from 10 to 12 centimeters.

At this point, do not skimp on drilling – then it will be covered by the skirting board again-, since if we do not do it, we run the risk of not achieving the desired effect. Also, it is always advisable to reach enough depth in the perforation to cover the width of the wall because, otherwise, we will have to drill the wall on both sides thereof.

Humedad

The electric option

If the idea of injecting resin in the walls of our house does not finish pleasing to us, we can always resort to other treatments of the humidity by capillarity less ‘aggressive’, although something more complex. We refer to electro-osmosis, which plays with electricity to repel water. It is a viable option, which can avoid drilling.

The basis on which this method is based is the physical evidence that the salts carried by the water that is ascending our walls are electrically charged. If we can generate an electric field, we can repel the particles of the salts, with electric charge.

If we choose this method to fight humidity by capillarity, we have two alternatives:

  • Active Electro-osmosis.- The basic element of this option are the different electrodes that we have to install inside the walls, so that they can conduct the electricity and generate the field that we need. To achieve this last point, it will also be necessary to install other electrodes underground, on the other side of the wall. Both will emit electric currents of different potential, which creates the electric field and repels the salts of humidity.
  • Passive Electro-osmosis.- The principle is the same, that is, to create the electric field that solves the problem, changing the polarity. Unlike the active option, in the passive what is used is a unit capable of generating electromagnetic waves that repel salts. It takes more time than the electrode system, but it is equally effective and, in addition, without the need to drill the walls.

Narciso Oliva

Arquitecto Técnico. Project Manager responsable de desarrollo y ejecución de proyectos de obras - Technical Architect. Project Manager responsible for development and execution of construction projects.

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