Durability of the hydrophobic treatment on brick and mortar

Vasilis Soulios*, Ernst Jan de Place Hansen, Ruut Peuhkuri, Eva Møller, Afshin Ghanbari-Siahkali

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Hydrophobization lessens the water absorption by facade materials and is thus presumed to reduce moisture problems in internally insulated facades. However, to do this it should retain the water repellency performance throughout aging. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of aging on the durability of the hydrophobic treatment on bricks and mortars. The resulting absorption coefficient, after 635 repeating artificial aging cycles of alternating UV radiation (102 min) and water exposure (18 min) reveals that the hydrophobic layer maintains its water repellency performance both in brick and mortar. The samples were treated with two different water repellent agents in different concentrations and tested for capillary water uptake. Additionally, the findings show that cycles of weathering could contribute positively to further reduction of the absorption coefficient of hydrophobized brick and mortar samples. Subsequently, Karsten tube tests on samples from artificial aging illustrate the same water repellency performance as mock-up walls exposed to ambient conditions, six years after being hydrophobized. Contact angle measurements before and after artificial aging reveal that the beading effect declines through aging. However, the beading effect seems to be just a surface effect affected by UV-light. Moreover, after aging, hydrophobized brick and mortar samples, tested by visual inspection, maintain their appearance while untreated samples show signs of efflorescence. In total, these findings indicate that the water uptake of hydrophobized brick or mortar remains very low after aging including water spraying and UV light.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number107994
    JournalBuilding and Environment
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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