Heated air gaps :a possibility to dry out dampness from building constructions

by af Klintberg, Tord

Abstract (Summary)
The air gap method is a modification of the common way of building indoor walls and floors. The aim of the method is to make a construction, less fragile to water damage, with air gaps where moisture can be removed with a thermally driven air flow, caused by a heating cable. The thesis includes a number of experimental studies of this method.Temperature and convective air flow in a vertical air gap was studied and it was noted how air flow increased with raised power of the heating cable. The air flow for one meter of wall varied between 50 m3/day (13 air changes per hour) and 140 m3/day (36 air changes per hour). The lower value was caused by a temperature difference in the range 0.2-0.3 oC. Without heating no air flow was found.In studies of moisture and RH in wet “slab on ground” constructions, it was noted how the slab in the room with the air gap method dried to a much higher extent than the slab in the room built in an ordinary way. It was also noted that moisture was transported from the air gap in the floor and up through the air gap in the wall. In the room with the air gap construction, the RH values beneath the floor was at a lower level (and below 75 % RH) than the RH values beneath the floor of conventional construction. Mould does not grow below 75 % RH.In the study of a flooded intermediate floor it was noted how the thermally driven convective air flow evidently speeded up drying of the construction. Mould growth was only noted in the case where the heating cables were turned off.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Civil engineering and architecture; Building engineering; Water damage; convection; air gap; building; construction


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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