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Durable Waterproofing for Concrete Masonry Walls: Redundancy Required

All images courtesy Building Diagnostics Inc.

A single-wythe concrete masonry wall may be a cost-effective structural element, but it can present challenges for waterproofing. The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) recommends redundancy to keep concrete masonry walls dry through techniques at the surface of the wall, within the wall, and through adequate drainage systems. Unfortunately, many concrete masonry wall designs rely solely on admixtures in the concrete masonry units (CMUs) and mortar and surface-applied water repellents. However, low absorption values do not guarantee water penetration resistance; this disconnect in the industry is a leading reason for leakage in single-wythe concrete masonry walls.

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