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Buildings 2017, 7(3), 70;

Masonry’s Resistance to Driving Rain: Mortar Water Content and Impregnation

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway
SINTEF Building and Infrastructure at Department Architecture, Materials and Structures, NO-7465 Trondheim, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
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Alongside well-researched themes such as water and moisture, the service life and function of masonry veneers are often compromised by precipitation combined with poor design considerations, execution, and selection of materials. Little research has been carried out on the subject of the impact of mortar consistency on masonry’s resistance to driving rain. Water-repellent (WR) impregnation is typically considered a quick fix when problems occur. Wall-panels of 1 m2 built with different flow table values for the mortar have been tested in a driving rain chamber, where both time-lapse videos and the measuring of penetrated water are used to evaluate performance. Subsequently, the panels were impregnated with the most common types of WR products and re-tested. The analysis shows that changing the mortar mix from dry to wet can decrease the penetration of driving rain by a factor of ten. The test results presented in this article show that mortar with low water content gives a porous interfacial transition zone (ITZ), thereby increasing the rate of water penetration. The tested WRs are found to be ineffective in increasing masonry’s resistance to high pressure driving rain. The results, combined with what is already known about WR treatments on masonry, call for careful consideration before applying such treatment. This proves especially true in countries with much driving rain followed by frequent freeze-thaw cycles. View Full-Text
Keywords: driving rain; mortar flow; impregnation; clay brick masonry; workmanship techniques driving rain; mortar flow; impregnation; clay brick masonry; workmanship techniques

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Slapø, F.; Kvande, T.; Bakken, N.; Haugen, M.; Lohne, J. Masonry’s Resistance to Driving Rain: Mortar Water Content and Impregnation. Buildings 2017, 7, 70.

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