Waterproofing And Hollow Block Foundations
The first hollow block design was patented by Harmon S. Palmer, an American mason, in 1900. Following Palmer’s innovation, mass production methods allowed for the proliferation of concrete block structures throughout the nation. Although the hollow block design allowed for a convenient way to affordably construct buildings to withstand the elements in nearly any geographic region, there are some drawbacks to hollow block, or concrete block, constructions.
Concrete block is made from sand and gravel aggregates. Although many people use the terms concrete block and cinder block synonymously, there are difference between the two building materials. Cinder block, which is constructed from coal ash remnants (hence the name, “cinder” block), concrete block, which is made from sand or gravel, is heavier.
The popularity of concrete block is in part due to the fact that it is easy to transport and store (especially compared to stone and brick). Concrete block is also, to some extent, fire proof. Early on, it was also advertised as being weather proof. Although it can withstand a variety of harsh weather conditions, claims about the weatherproof nature of concrete block have been somewhat exaggerated.
In fact, over time soil and water pressure can actually cause mortar to break down and wear away. As a consequence, water can seep through the exterior mortar joints, finding an easy path into the hollows of the concrete block. Water remains trapped inside the block, which eventually leads to foundations seepage. Since concrete block is, by nature, quite porous, it easily absorbs moisture. Left untreated, this moisture can lead to mold problems.
Fortunately, there are some options to prevent your hollow block home from becoming water logged. Exterior Waterproofing can stop the water that’s seeping in from the outside, while Interior Waterproofing can capture any water that’s on the inside. To discuss the interior and exterior waterproofing options for your concrete block home, contact the waterproofing experts at AA Action Waterproofing.