Tiling in Wet Areas

Water damage is widespread

Well over 50% of all building defects in the United Kingdom construction industry are due to some form of damage from water or damp penetration. From defective damp courses,poor window frame sealing, condensation and leaking seals around baths and showers, the problems cost millions of pounds per annum in repairs and refurbishment.

In countries such as the UK, USA, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland the problem is exacerbated by the materials and methods of construction used on many installations, particularly in the domestic house building market. The incorporation of shower areas on upper floors into construction systems, which usually involve timber floors and stud partition, dry lining walls is not tolerant of even the smallest amount of water leaking or penetration. In Mediterranean countries, such as Spain and Italy, traditional methods of building using clay and concrete products are generally more tolerant of dampness.

Recent trends towards the use of power showers, multi-head sprays, walk-in units and tiled floors has increased the likelihood of water penetration occurring into the main structure of the property. The damage may often go well beyond a few damp patches, or say, painted plaster. Whole ceilings have been known to collapse, plasterboard partitioned walls have disintegrated, chronic mould growth problems have occurred to such an extent that there is a belief in the United States that “aspergillus niger” (black mould) and its variants, is rapidly becoming the next “asbestos”, with claims being made for severe asthmatic and bronchial problems alleged to have been caused by mould growth problems from dampness defects in buildings. The development of easy-to-install tanking membrane kits for use beneath ceramic tiling is one of the most significant advances in recent years to help combat this problem.

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