Building drying moisture in new buildings

What is meant by building drying?

The drying of a building is called building drying. This includes drying out the moisture created in the construction process as well as drying out water that has subsequently penetrated. 

Excessive building moisture can have many different causes. There are even more reasons for water to penetrate. The main part of this article will deal with the development and remediation of excessive building moisture . For information, reasons for subsequent water penetration are briefly mentioned in the next chapter. 

This should also serve as an aid in determining what is the reason for the excess moisture. Various methods are available for drying building moisture, which can vary depending on the intensity of different factors (for example: temperature, humidity, season, weather, wind, surface and water content ). 

These range from simple and extensive ventilation to building drying by experts. Sea level and relative humidity also play an important role.

Common causes of water ingress

In addition to the “real” building moisture, there are a number of other reasons for how water can get into a building. These include:

  • Structural damage such as cracks, burst pipes and broken pipes
  • Transport of capillary moisture
  • Penetration of water through precipitation in the case of roof damage
  • Penetration of rain due to a missing roof in the shell
  • Floods
  • Diffusion of humidity in the building
  • Formation of condensation moisture on cold walls in the basement
  • Adhesive wall moisture
  • Hygroscopic humidity

Effective drying in new buildings

House with plans

Nowadays construction processes are very fast compared to the past thanks to advanced technology. It only takes a few weeks from the foundation to the finished house or block of flats. There are various ways of drying a new building or building shell. All have their place. 

However, they differ in terms of their range of applications and their effectiveness. For many building materials, such as cement, screed, etc., water is the starting point. This is important for the correct consistency of the mixed mass for processing. Then it must be ensured that the excess moisture escapes again in order to form a stable material from the viscous mass.

Important information about moisture in the building shell

House in the raw state

The residual moisture from the building materials must dry completely in order not to cause any damage. This is not so easy. Brick masonry, for example, takes between 100 to 350 days to completely dry out without any aid. 

In the case of concrete, this time increases considerably. A total of 450 to 790 days are needed for it to dry out completely. This is why extensive and thorough drying by experts is so important. 

To make this easy to accomplish, forward-looking coordination with the other structural and technical measures is highly recommended. In this way you can be sure that no deadlines collide and that the construction project runs smoothly according to plan.

Drying time of excessive residual moisture in new buildings

The time it takes to dry a new building depends on various variables. The most important are the following:

  • Thickness of the screed
  • Degree of moisture penetration of the building material
  • Room temperature
  • Desired degree of drying

As a rule, with a suitable number of drying devices, a drying time of 2 to 5 weeks can be assumed. If less than this time is estimated for the new building drying, only the top layer of the processed building material dries. 

Parts of the masonry that are located further inside still contain residual moisture and can, under certain circumstances, develop a major damaging effect. Therefore the adequate drying time is extremely important. It is worth consulting experts to determine the best drying option.

Formation of moisture in new buildings

Shell foundation

Most of the moisture is hidden in the various building materials. The masonry and concrete in particular can store a great deal of water. If these are not properly and professionally dried before the building is completed, considerable damage can occur later in the construction process. 

As a result, extensive repairs are necessary. It is therefore worth planning the drying process right at the beginning or, preferably, before the start of the new building. That costs a little money, but ultimately saves time, nerves and damage to the building. 

After half a year, the water in a concrete slab is still about 6% of the weight. This residual moisture can then escape from the concrete and penetrate into adjacent rooms. If there are no vapor barriers in place, insulation materials can be enriched with moisture. 

The value of the insulation deteriorates considerably. In addition, ideal conditions for harmful molds are created. Professional building drying is therefore extremely advisable and urgently recommended for many reasons!

Building drying in new buildings – an overview

Due to the many different materials that are used in house construction, building drying is a complex subject. This makes reliable and good advice all the more important. Depending on the construction and the raw material, different drying techniques are used. The drying of the building in new buildings is best done before laying floors and before painting. Then the surfaces of screeds, ceilings and walls can also be dried with great effectiveness.

The solid house – information on building drying

In the shell of a solid house, the level of residual moisture is particularly high, especially higher than in the prefabricated construction. The main causes of excessive moisture are the screed and the interior plaster. Therefore, with solid construction, professional building drying should be started as soon as possible after completion. The following are very susceptible to increased moisture:

  • Difficult to reach, winding corners (for example around the chimney)
  • Place the transition to dry plaster
  • Poorly ventilated area (e.g. stairs)

In these places, the professional drying with professional devices in the new solid house is particularly efficient. They promote a good indoor climate and preserve the quality of the house.

The prefabricated house – information on building drying

Prefabricated house

Compared to the solid construction, the prefabricated house construction has a great advantage. There is simply less residual moisture build-up. Drying the building is still recommended. The residual moisture in the prefabricated house is mainly caused by the screed, which is used for the construction of the floor. 

In addition, the insulation in the basement can increase the humidity. Building drying by experts prevents these problems and prevents the formation of mold.

Different types of drying in new buildings / shell construction

Basically, modern and traditional ways of drying buildings can be distinguished. In the following, the different types of building drying are discussed in more detail in order to shed more light on the advantages and disadvantages. This should help to decide on the right type of drying, adapted to the construction and the materials used.

Building drying earlier – a cost-effective alternative

When machines were not yet available, structures were dried naturally. In this drying process, moisture is removed from the rooms by moving air. This can be implemented relatively easily in practice.

 All you have to do is ensure a constant flow of air. This is done , for example, through cross ventilation . Depending on the climatic conditions, this process takes different lengths of time. The greatest advantage of traditional building drying is certainly its low cost, although it is not particularly effective. 

When using this method for drying new buildings, it is particularly difficult to coordinate appointments for the work that has to be done, because the drying time is very difficult to estimate.

Building drying today – drying effectively and economically

Nowadays, modern, technical devices can be used to dry highly effectively and quickly. Drying buildings and rooms in new buildings is child’s play. With air dehumidification using powerful devices, a humidity level of 25% to 45% can be achieved. In addition, the drying takes place evenly distributed throughout the room. 

So it doesn’t matter where the moisture has accumulated. This means that drying can be carried out continuously and homogeneously, regardless of the weather. Modern technology therefore helps new and unfinished buildings to dry out quickly and economically. The construction work can then continue on time. This saves time and money.

In summary, there are some advantages of dehumidifying with professional drying devices:

  • Effective drying through powerful devices
  • Even and faster drying process
  • Economical and cost-saving
  • Enables tight schedules to be adhered to when building new buildings

Techniques for drying in new buildings

Modern building drying uses different techniques to achieve a perfect result. The most important ones are listed and briefly described below. Depending on the area of ​​application, building material and degree of moisture penetration, they differ accordingly.

Drying of cavities

If the interior of the new building is affected by moisture, cavity drying is used. With it, the humidity is extracted from these areas with pinpoint accuracy. So it is a purposeful removal of residual moisture. This type of drying is particularly important when cavities have been suffering from residual moisture for a long time.

Room drying

Special drying devices enable damp masonry to be dried. Special high-performance units are used for this. This system is particularly suitable for generating warm air for drying.

Screed drying

The drying of screed is a particular challenge because it stores a lot of water and thus moisture. This problem is solved by negative pressure. This makes it possible to properly dry the most varied types of screed. 

Precise and professional drying is extremely important for screed in order to prevent expansion. This protects the important insulation materials in the substructure. If special insulation had to be removed because of excessive moisture, it would be extremely costly.

Infrared drying

Infrared drying is a special process that uses large heating plates to remove excessive moisture. The energy-charged infrared radiation is used to generate heat. This is also ideal for mold infestation on walls.

Microwave drying

This technology is mainly used for drying small, limited areas. Electricity is used to seal leaky surfaces. The water molecules in the materials are influenced accordingly by microwaves . The resulting heat, caused by friction, caused the deepest layers to dry out.

Proper drying in new buildings and in the shell

Correct drying of screed and plaster in new buildings is particularly challenging. If it is done incorrectly, cracks or even flaking can occur. Usually, the new building does not begin to dry until the plaster has been applied. Special condensation dryers are used for this. The different types of plaster and screed must be taken into account, as they each require special handling:

  • Screeds with calcium sulphate can be dried the following day
  • If cement is used for the screed, it is essential to wait 6 to 11 days before starting the drying process.
  • For cement and gypsum plaster, there is a waiting period of 1 to 3 days before drying begins

Master’s tip: It is extremely important to maintain a closed system during the drying process. That means: All windows and doors that lead outside must remain closed. In contrast, inside the new building, every door should remain open. This is how you achieve the best possible drying effect!

Electric dryers versus oil and gas dryers

Drying devices operated with oil and gas are not suitable for use in new buildings. This is due to the fact that there is excessive water vapor formation. For every liter of drive fluid, around one and a half liters of steam are released into the ambient air.

This excess moisture can then settle on ceilings and walls. Exactly the opposite effect is achieved: the new building becomes damp instead of drier.

Electric dryers are therefore ideal for drying new buildings. They are safe and efficient. In addition, no oxygen is burned when heated, which ensures quiet and odorless operation.

Ventilation and dry heating in the new building

Ventilation and dry heating are also not promising alternatives. Both procedures are costly, slow, and high risk. Correct ventilation is more complicated than it sounds. 

The humidity in the outdoor area must be observed very closely and the duration of the ventilation processes should also be precisely determined. Dry heating of new and unfinished buildings can take up to 2.5 years. The energy costs increase enormously with this technology.

Therefore: Trust your specialist on the subject of drying new buildings. Save time, energy and nerves!

Moisture in a new building? No thank you! – The list

  • Already in the course of the construction process, ensure that the damp building materials are adequately dried before further construction
  • In the case of organic materials, care must be taken to ensure that they are properly dried, as these are ideal breeding grounds for mold
  • When finishing the interior, choose the right building materials
  • Prevent moisture penetration and cover the roofs
  • Ensure that no water can get into the shell through walls or cellars
  • Prevent condensation from forming!

And the most important thing at the end!

Make sure that the new building is completely dry before moving in. In this regard, walls inside which are plastered on both sides should be particularly checked. If in doubt, please contact your specialist! This saves you time, nerves and money.

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