Wet walls and ceilings? Don't panic! | homify

Wet walls and ceilings? Don't panic!

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Wet walls and ceilings lead to rapid deterioration of a building’s structure. A terrace is one of the most important places in any building that is exposed to the climate and natural vagaries like heavy rains and hailstorm. Care should be taken to prevent stagnation of water. Effort should be taken, right from the designing stage of the building, to incorporate the best protection system to water proof the walls and ceilings. Waterproofing is very important if you are solely seeking solutions about how to stop water leakage from wall as a concrete wall is not naturally watertight. When reinforced cement concrete is added, care should be taken to moisture-proof the building.

How to repair walls and ceilings with moisture?

Unless the structure of the building is solid, waterproofing systems will not last. For walls, try and assess if the moisture is only paint-deep. If that’s the case, let the paint dry off. Once that happens, you will need to scrape off the old layer paint, sand the wall, and repaint. If the seepage has its root deep into the wall. Usually, the glossier the finish, expect it to provide better resistance to moisture. In case of a leaking roof, the leak needs to be fixed with the right waterproofing materials. Waterproofing the terrace is done with different permutations and combinations, depending on the requirement of the client. If the reinforced concrete mixture contains an admixture of an integral waterproofing compound, it will reduce the permeability of moisture, and if the terrace has a proper slope, water will not stagnate in one place for a long time. After casting the concrete, it should be cured immediately after setting, say after four to five hours of setting.

​Wet walls and ceiling? Don’t panic:

There are several methods that can be employed for waterproofing. There is no immediate need to panic when moisture sets in the walls or ceilings. With available materials, this condition can be set right, soon and effectively. Right from brickbat lime coba treatment to silicon-based water repellant, there are several effective methods to choose from. If the condition is really bad, then looking for an economical treatment should be avoided. One of the most foolproof treatments would be to take care of all the vertical and horizontal joints with waterproofing mortar and treating the surface with cement-based hygroscopic waterproofing chemical or a sealing compound. 

Evaluate the source of the moisture

While treating the affected areas where moisture is rampant, it is important to get to the root cause of the matter. It is imperative to find out what causes the moisture in the area and whether it would recur after the treatment. If there is a chance of it recurring, then the source of the moisture should be tracked and plugged. If there are plants, treatment should be done with an epoxy resin-based waterproofing material. The brickbat coba treatment can be effective on the terrace for weatherproofing. An admixture is used here to make it watertight.

​Remove the dirt

Removing dirt from the terrace, which gets accumulated over the years, is very important. This dirt can also lead to stagnation of water and give you life lessons. If you are looking for ideas on how to stop leaking concrete roof in India, then prevention is better than cure. For example, as the terrace is exposed to the elements, cleaning the area periodically would help in avoiding accumulation of dried leaves and other elements that cause damp walls and ceilings.

Wash the wall

Exposed areas on house walls that have developed cracks can also attract moisture. Before waterproofing, it is important to clean from all the surfaces loose paint dust and grease. Bitumen should be removed and this can be done using a high-speed water jet that will clean thoroughly.

Remove cracks or fissures

There are several crack seals available in the market. After washing the wall, it would be good to tackle all the cracks at corner joints, on channels, and the parapet and treat them properly. Crack seals can be used to fill them up. Bigger cracks and damaged areas can be repaired, using polymer modified cement mortars. After the filling is done, it should be allowed to dry for about four to six hours.

Waterproof the wall

Waterproofing the wall is important and is required for several reasons. If the water table rises, water can get in through cracks. Rainwater can seep inside during the monsoon. Water can seep through from adjoining rooms like the kitchen and bathroom where there is constant water flow. There are several specialized treatments for waterproofing the walls in the market. These treatments can arrest dampness in walls efficiently. Water proofing treatments using chemicals are the best solution for how to treat dampness in internal walls and these can be applied on the wall with a brush and due to the technology used, it dries up quickly. Once treated, the wall can be plastered with waterproof plaster and smoothly finished. To read more about how to waterproof your house, you could also read - Keep the leaks out of your apartment: 6 tricks to save the floor.

Sand the wall

It is imperative to sand the walls down for efficient waterproofing. Sanding the wall with a high-grade sand paper is the most common method. Sanding is important to remove mildew and mold in damp areas. Good quality sand paper will help in sanding the walls effectively and the method is followed by all painters before repainting a wall again. This will also make sure that water proofing proves to be effective in the long run. Some prefer to use steel brushes to remove tough paint and grout. Sand blasting is another method where a machine is used to sand down walls. This is used for large areas in big buildings generally.

General Recommendations

It is important to consult an expert for the best kind of treatment that can be used on the walls and terrace affected by moisture. There are different kinds of treatments available, depending on the intensity of the moisture-affected walls. The source of the moisture should be tracked to finalize the right waterproofing material. Concrete is not impermeable to water, so it might develop cracks over time. Therefore, it is necessary to cover the surface with a barrier material.

The need to use a barrier material should be done while designing the concrete structure. One such barrier against heat and water is lime terracing, a traditional method. It is an admixture of lime and brickbats with organic and inorganic admixtures. Overall, rainwater must be drained effectively from the roof and should not be allowed to stagnate.

Some of the modern waterproofing methods that can help water proof walls are silicon-based water repellents, polymerised bitumen, a polymer-based waterproofing compound that is ready to use, waterproofing adhesive, injection grouting for cracks, and silicon sealants. There are also waterproofing membrane-forming coating, which are effective as well. For those wanting to know more, Six Tips to Prevent Moisture Infiltration in the Bathroom is yet another interesting read on leakage!

Strike at the source of the trouble

Search for the source of the water leak that is penetrating your concrete wall and confirm if a gutter or rainwater spout from the terrace is leaking into the wall. During construction ensure that the foundation is above the surrounding ground level so that any water around it flows away from it. Construct gutters and downspouts that take all water away from the main building and foundation, ensuring there is no waterlogging.

Now that you know how to seal the leaks and make your home look clean again let us explore creative interior decor ideas for Indian homes.

Which idea from here inspired you the most? Let us know in the comments!

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