Drying sub-screed flooring and walls after water damage

Construction Systems and Components − Easier and Faster Construction

Over a million cases of water damage from leaky water pipes are recorded in Germany every year. However, damp treatment companies are faced increasingly with new challenges, as many different building materials – whether bricks filled with insulation or vapor-proof sheeting – are combined in all kinds of ways. Special know-how is required to choose the right drying method.

In response to requests by industrial customers, researchers at Fraunhofer IBP investigated a number of different construction materials. They built four identical test setups made of different materials in the controlled-environment chamber at Fraunhofer IBP in Stuttgart, and introduced water at floor level over a period of two weeks to simulate the effects of flooding. In three of these test setups, different sub-screed drying systems were used to remove moisture: the first was equipped with an absorption dryer, the second had wall-mounted infrared panels, and the third consisted of a high-speed fan blower operating at maximum speed. The fourth setup served as a reference. The systems were left in place for three weeks, then switched off for three days, and then switched on again for a further two weeks.

The experiment delivered measurement data from which the scientists were able to derive exhaustive information on the drying process, the effectiveness of the different drying methods, and the drying result.