Last edited 25 Mar 2020

Meassures to minimise material degradation

Contents

[edit] Introduction

All building materials can suffer from deterioration and decay if they are not protected or maintained correctly. Some common scenarios that can lead to the degradation of construction materials are:

For more information see: Degradation of construction materials.

Some measures that can be put in place to minimise the early degradation of materials are descibed below.

[edit] Timber

Timber can deteriorate due to a range of circumstances. It is particularly susceptible to wet rot, dry rot, woodworm and shrinkage.

Wet and dry rot:

Woodworm:

Shrinkage:

[edit] Stone

Stone can be susceptible to deterioration from acid rain. To minimise decay, the following measures can be implemented:

For more information see: Defects in stone.

[edit] Concrete

Concrete is susceptible to sulfate attacks. To minimise the damage the following steps can be taken:

[edit] Polymers

Polymers like uPVC are easily damaged by exposure to UV light. In sunlit exposed areas, it is advisable to use polymers that have a UV-inhibiting additive.

[edit] Steel

Corrosion is the main contributing factor to the degradation of steel. The following steps can be taken to minimise rust:

[edit] General

The degradation of all materials can be induced by stresses from loading forces. Materials should be designed by taking into consideration their strength and weaknesses and the maximum loading and bearing capacities of their structures.

Frost action can also cause damage. This can be prevented by quality control of materials and components, as well as workmanship on site, appropriate ventilation and drainage, the prevention of condensation and suitable maintenance.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references

BTEC National Construction - Pearson