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Government relies on Safeguard’s Stormdry for retrofit research



In a performance review of Approved Document C (AD C) of the Building Regulations, and its applicability and usefulness in relation to retrofit, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has delivered a paper called Research into Resistance to Moisture in Buildings. In it, Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream was by the MHCLG chosen as a protection measure for modelling moisture risk to retrofit Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) on solid masonry walls with and without such protection.

The results of its WUFI® (Wärme Und Feuchte Instationär – Heat and Humidity Transition) modelling revealed that without Stormdry most retrofit IWI systems – depending on weather and UK location – would fail.

A major concern when retrofitting buildings with IWI for improved energy performance is that it results in any moisture present being trapped and causing damp problems. Similarly, new damp – such as penetrating, from wind-driven rain – can result in the failure of these retrofit measures, unless preventative or remedial steps are taken to protect walls at the time of installation.

In quite shocking findings, it was found that – without Stormdry ‘brick cream’ – all IWI on solid masonry walls would eventually fail, “mainly due to the wind-driven rain … penetrating through brick, being a very porous material”.

This means, for instance, that even in the more temperature weather zones of the UK – Zones 1 to 3 – IWI is at risk to penetrating damp and failure unless Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream is applied, even if the exterior wall face is made from low absorption bricks.

However, in weather Zone 4 – the UK’s most extreme – the MHCLG found that only impervious cladding, such as render, on solid walls would protect insulation measures. In these situations, it is then crucial to ensure that damp-proof courses are in good order or subject to remedial works, as such claddings can trap rising damp in the wall and drive it towards the building interior, despoiling decoration and potentially impacting on the health and wellbeing of occupants.

There were two key aspects to the project – “To verify the robustness of the guidance presented in AD C for new buildings in the light of changes to Part L and to identify gaps in the current guidance and “To develop a set of relevant guidance for situations where insulation is retrofitted to existing buildings”.

The choice of Stormdry from Safeguard Europe – the UK’s leading specialist in damp- and waterproofing, and masonry repair solutions – was driven, in the Ministry’s words, by it being “by far the main product used in the industry” and the one most supported by testing.

Crucial to the high performance of Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream – and where it greatly exceeds that of inferior competitive products – is the depth of penetration into masonry; and the concentration of active ingredients in the formula.

With an active ingredient level of 40% – compared to concentrations as low as 2.5% for some competitors – Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream is not only far more effective at excluding moisture from masonry; it also has a significantly longer life expectancy of up to 25 years. This longevity was established through accelerated ageing tests as part of the product’s certification by the British Board of Agrément.

Invisible when dry, Stormdry can be applied by either brush or roller – even to wet walls because of its breathable properties: it lines the pores of the masonry so that water can escape as vapour but cannot enter in liquid form.

Safeguard Europe’s range of market-leading, proven damp-proofing solutions is supported by the company’s own highly qualified and experienced staff. The support and know-how they offer is extended to contractors, specifiers and property owners and includes technical advice, specification help, research and even in-house laboratory analysis ofplaster and masonry.


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