During the past years we have been monitoring several hundreds of buildings long-term via professional moisture measurements taken at regular intervals. This lead to some very interesting observations about:

  • How our dehydration system dries out the building
    • How moisture moves inside the building fabric
      • What are the main variables that affect the dehydration
      • Main limitations, what the system can and can't do etc.

The research is still ongoing, however here is a summary of some of our findings in this regard:

1. Dehydration of Non-Breathable Walls

While traditional buildings have been built moisture permeable (breathable) rather than impermeable as most newer buildings, a lot of repairs on older buildings have been done with modern materials. Here are some of the works which we frequently encounter which negatively affect the drying-out of old buildings:

  • cement pointing (instead of lime)
  • cement rendering
  • modern plaster (cement + gypsum finish)
  • wallpaper on top of modern plaster, often painted
  • concrete floors
  • concrete walkways around the building
  • lack of drainage
  • etc. etc.

All these factors, a way or other, contribute to the retention of moisture inside the building fabric and the remedy often involves invasive and costly measures (e.g. re-pointing, removing the cement render etc.)

We strongly advocate the use of traditional, building-friendly materials wherever possible, however in certain cases traditional methods can not be implemented, ​or are too costly or too invasive. We have found that the Aquapol system most of the time dries out or significantly improves the condition of such buildings without any of the invasive measures. 

Here is an example: a building with cement render, modern plaster, concrete floors and a concrete walkway around it. In other words, from conservation viewpoint, a lot of no-nos. Installing the Aquapol system produced a significant change within 6 months without a major building works being done during most of this time.

2. Protection to Floor Joists

Floor joists often start rotting because the masonry is damp. By dehydrating the building down to the solum level, floors joists will often benefit from it and their decay stops.

3. Less Crumbling

Ongoing crumbling of the historic building fabric is of major concern as it leads to a gradual irreversible deterioration of the building fabric. Although crumbling can have several reasons, one of the leading causes are ground salts. Ground salts are being transported into the building fabric by rising damp. When the water evaporates, leaves the salts behind which crystallize on or under the surface. During the crystallization process the salts expand in volume several times (typically 5-10X) resulting in the breakdown of the building fabric at capillary level.

Crystallization pressure can generate significant forces. Most of us are aware of the power of water freeing into ice, expanding in volume, which can fracture copper or steel pipes.

The Aquapol system, by stopping the upward transport of water and salts inside the wall capillaries, it will stabilize the building, resulting in less crumbling.

My house has originally been an agricultural farm house, a potting shed built of sandstone, without a proper damp proof course. The stonework on the outside our house always has shown signs of damp and a bit of spalling and flaking. After 6 months there is a significant improvement, damp is reducing. Visually there has been a difference but more importantly your measurements have also indicated there is a definite difference, so your system must be working. It was still surprising and rewarding to see the results that I have now seen 6 months on.

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Paul
Potting Shed

4. Warmer Buildings

Does your building feels cold all or most of the time? Does it take a long time to heat it up or keep it warm? As the building fabric dries out it will gradually regain its thermal insulation. Many customers reported a significant improvement in the internal ambiance of the building, an often important side-benefit of our building dehydration system.

Old House by the Canal

The house has been built in 1804 and it is situated very close to a canal. It used to be a shop and I converted it into a house. I have been living in it for 20 years and the basement was always damp.

I heard about your dehydration system from my builder who rented a garage next to mine. The system has been installed 6 months ago in June. The dampness in the ground is now gone, the room is operating normally. Where it previously took 3 hours to heat up the room now the room is operational in half hour, just like the rest of the house. It's a much pleasanter environment down there than before. I am very pleased with the results and if any of my friends would have similar problems I certainly wouldn't have any hesitation to recommend you.

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Graham H
Home Owner

5. Less Condensation & Mould

Condensation is typically not a dampness problem but an insulation problem. Walls cool down and the warm humid air will condense on the cold surfaces, usually on the bottom of the walls or corners. The humidity provides the necessary water for mould to survive and as a result black mould often grows in these areas.

When the building is affected by rising damp, the constant evaporation at the base of the walls cools the walls down even further, resulting in condensation and the appearance of mould. By drying the wall fabric out often will help with the condensation problem as the walls get warmer and thus less subject to condensation.

However the Aquapol system is not your primary defense mechanism against condensation. There are other more efficient ways to deal with the problem, nevertheless it can help to tackle certain condensation problems.

Scottish Castle

I am a physician, general medical practice. We own a medieval castle which was finished in 1577. The walls are red sandstone held together by lime mortar with rubble in-between, harled on the outside and lime-washed on the inside. The castle is built without any basements, the building really just stands on the ground and it has no damp course.

There is always rising damp creeping up the building, especially on the ground floor where it was rusting the sockets. We wanted to tackle the problem so we spoke to Core Conservation. They came out last year, did a bunch of measurements, fitted their damp system and one year later the stone is drying out, the cement is drying out; they are about 50% drier than last year. It is much better than it was.

Initially we had quite a lot of mildew and keeping the building warm did not help with that. Two things helped with the mildew: 1. the damp proofing system by reducing the moisture in the lower part of the building; 2. better airflow through the building.

Working with your staff was very easy and straightforward, very agreeable people, lots of integrity. The work was very professional, tidy, no mess left at all. I would have no hesitation recommending you to anybody.

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Colin B
Castle Owner

6. Less Musty Smell

By drying out the building fabric musty smell often reduces considerably or vanishes altogether. This often happens within a few months after the installation of the dehydration system.

Bed & Breakfast

I run a B&B built in 1889 and had damp issues in the basement. I kept my linen and towels there and despite several washes I was getting that horrible musty smell. Every time I walked down the stairs into the basement I could smell that musty smell, so I had to do something about it.

I contacted Core Conservation through the internet, they came out and investigated the problem. They took samples out of the walls, measured their moisture content and confirmed that there was rising damp. Another company recommended me tanking, which would have only solved some of the problem instead of the whole issue, so I went with Core Conservation as it was the right thing to do.

Once the dehydration system was fitted, about a month or so later, I noticed that the smell has reduced, got less and less until I could not smell it anymore. And I thought: "Oh, I got so used to it that I can't smell it anymore." But my son visited me, funnily enough, this weekend and even he noticed that the smell was gone. He left a lot of his stuff in the basement and he used to moan about the musty smell and he had to throw some of his clothes out. This time, however, he didn't say any of that.

Initially the walls have been cold and damp, the samples taken from the walls were visibly wet. Now, at the last check the samples were not wet at all. You can also tell when you are in there, that you don't get that damp feeling down there.

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Maxine C
B&B Owner

Old Cottage

As an architect I worked on both old and new buildings. I live in a stone-built farmer Border cottage built around 1910. Under the staircase there was a lot of fungal smell, which also permeated the clothing. This was particularly noticeable when I had a visitor. When they left home and opened their suitcase they had a very strong fungal smell coming from their clothing. You could feel this smell around the central wall, which is a solid stone wall with the staircase around it.

I came across your dehydration solution when you have been doing some work at one of my neighbours. I had your system fitted a year ago. After about 3 - 4 months I began to notice a difference: I got the feeling that the air is lighter somehow, not so heavy. The smell seems to be considerably reduced. When now I put my head under the staircase I don't have that strong, almost eye-watering smell. On my last trip to Sweden when I opened my suitcase I did not have the smell either.

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Michael D
Retired architect, cottage owner

7. Better, Healthier Living Environment

Some of our customers report back to us a better, healthier living environment as a result of the walls drying out. We understand that this is a highly subjective observation, however the decrease of moisture and humidity leads to less mould and potentially less pathogens in the building. We do not have the means to assess or verify that, however we are happy to pass on some of the subjective observations of our customers who have been using our dehydration systems for a while.

Country House

We have two young girls, they are absolutely full of life and the last things we want to do is to encourage any respiratory or health issues.

Lily, age 6, she has a history of chestiness, she has been admitted to hospital for chest infection from a young age. Since the installation of your dehydration system she did not have a flue or a cough. She has been "symptom free", so to speak, for the last year, which is good. Whether that's an indicator, I don't know, but I wanted to mention it. The results speak for themselves.

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William P
Country House owner