Thinking of renovating your property?

Sand, cement, lime and other building materials have only recently been well defined, renovations to a building in excess of 100yrs old can result in irreparable damage to your property; changing the thermo-dynamics of the infrastructure and spoiling the look and feel of your building space.

Repairing or renovating an old or historic building with modern building materials can seriously damage the infrastructure of the building; sand and cement concrete, mortars and screeds are less permeable to both air and moisture, are much harder and denser and possess different thermo-dynamic and thermo-chemical properties to traditional building products. Externally, the repair will be initially apparent by the noticeable difference in the look between the original material and the repair; where the repair has been blended to match the original material, the repair will be evident by its difference in feel. If you are lucky the concerned public will highlight the issue for you, as in this instance Ugly Great Wall Repairs.

If you are unlucky and the repair is hidden from public view, the change in permeability will result in a build up of moisture; a change which can impact the chemical activity between the repair and the original material. This effect will be evidenced by  the presence of surface moisture and the build up of hygroscopic salts. Additionally, seasonal thermodynamic changes will affect the expansion and contraction rates of the two materials weakening the area around the repair, which is much softer than the modern sand and cement concrete, mortar and screed, and ultimately impacts on the integrity of building blocks that produce the architecture. Evidence if this can be seen by the presence of surface cracks in and around the repair. A better explanation of this phenomenon is given here.

Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) Chemical test to determine alkali content in concrete, mortar or render; can be used to predict ASR potential.
Asbestos Identification Identification and quantification of the different types of asbestos in cementitious building materials.
Atterberg Limits Liquid limit and plasticity index of soils; gives essential information about the strength and settlement characteristics a soil .
Carbonation Depth Measures the degree of degradation in a concrete, mortar or render.
Cement Content of hardened concrete. The determination of constituent components in a concrete, mortar or render to identify the materials and their concentration.
Chlorides Quantification of chlorides in hardened concrete, mortar or render.
Hygroscopic Salts Evaluates the susceptibility of building products to the presence and movement of water soluble salts, in building.
Rapid HAC in Concrete Identification of High Alumina Cement (HAC) in buildings and infrastructures.

 This is just a small part of the building and infrastructure services offered by WoB, specifically focusing on the renovation of a building or infrastructure; a full range of our Building Services including the management of a building are available here. If you require any additional information about the issues presented here, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

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