“WHAT IS THE SOLUTION FOR RISING DAMP?”
Aquapol – A Space-Age Solution to the Ancient Problem of Rising Damp
Rising damp is estimated to cause structural damage running into billions of rands a year in repair and maintenance costs, as well as reduced property valuations.
The traditional solution for rising damp involves removal of the affected plaster and paint and in some cases the application of a salt neutraliser, followed by dampcreting and re-painting the walls. This is a hugely disruptive and costly process for the landlord and tenant.
Rising damp typically occurs when a damp-proof course (DPC, or moisture barrier) becomes perforated or torn, allowing water molecules to seep up through the walls. The water seeps up through the capillary system within the brick and stonework until it reaches the so-called “Evaporation Zone”, at which point it evaporates from the wall surface. When the surrounding soils contain significant amounts of soluble salts, these are drawn into the walls, resulting in crystal growth that is sufficiently powerful to cause masonry crumbling. This is of particular concern in older buildings, many of which were built before the problem was well understood.
Space age technology has come to the rescue of the age-old problem of rising damp in the form of Aquapol, an Austrian-developed technology about the size of a cake tin that is suspended from the ceiling. It has no moving parts, requires no electrical connection or batteries, and comes with a 20 year money-back guarantee. Even more impressive is the cost – about half that of traditional rising damp fix-ups.
The Aquapol device is the brainchild of Austrian engineer, Wilhelm Mohorn, who received Austria’s highest award, the Kaplan medal, for his research and invention of the Aquapol system. The name Aquapol comes from ‘aqua’, the Latin word for water, and ‘pol’, short for polarisation. Aquapol reverses the polarity of the water molecules in the capillary system of the walls and causes the damp to flow downwards, leaving the walls dry and structurally sound. Once dry, it is often recommended that clients undertake whatever necessary masonry work is required. The problem of rising damp is typically over a period of six to 18 months.
According to Aquapol South Africa, Aquapol now has 55,000 installations around the world in 24 countries which includes such notable historical sites as the Budapest parliament building, the Joseph Haydn Museum in Austria; the Greek Oriental Church in Vienna, Schlatt Castle in Germany.
Though the company is relatively new to South Africa around 10 years, clients now include Sun International and the Gauteng Department of Public Works and many residential homes and town house complexes, where you now can dry out your entire complex and be free of rising damp for good.
“Through our unique monitoring system, we are able to conduct a detailed and accurate audit of the extent of damp in a building,” says Aquapol SA. “We have been amazed at some of the improvements Aquapol has achieved. In one instance we recorded a 65% reduction in damp readings over just 6 months.”
Aquapol offers a unique scientific damp analysis, followed by the preparation of a comprehensive report and damp eradication plan with details of work and costs. T&C apply.
The dehydration is then achieved by the installation of a specific Aquapol device, which must be located in exactly the right spot according to a series of different measurements and salt tests from samples taken from different areas of the walls in the building.
Aquapol is both eco-friendly and physiologically beneficial to inhabitants of buildings where the units are installed. Scientific studies carried out by Professor K. A. Lotz, a leading German scientist in the area of building biology, proved astonishingly positive effects from the Aquapol system: “Interviews with people who had an Aquapol device installation in their room, revealed the following biological effects: better sleep and well-being, (and) a better room climate, even in geologically disturbed houses,” according to the research.
“The response from the South African market to the Aquapol system has been overwhelming,” Berry King “This might be space age technology, but it has been around in Europe for more than 35 years and has proven itself in some of the most difficult cases imaginable – cases where more conventional damp proofing solutions simply did not work. This is why we are able to offer a 20 year warranty on the product, and we invite the sceptics to give it a try for a few months and measure the results.”
Aquapol offers a variety of financing options, from outright purchase of units to rental or rent to own.