Heavy rain can cause severe damage to certain types of construction materials. Read on to learn why it is so important to protect the following kinds of building materials from the rain.
The framing and trusses that are used to construct buildings are almost always made from timber. Unfortunately, this material can sustain serious damage when exposed to heavy rain.
Warping is one of the many issues that can occur if construction timber gets wet. If for example, a timber truss or wall frame is subjected to several heavy downpours, it will usually swell, crack and then change shape when it eventually dries out. Because roof trusses and wall frames need to have extremely precise dimensions, this warping often renders them completely useless.
Rainwater can also result in timber developing mould. Whilst mould spores will not usually affect the structural integrity of a timber truss, the presence of mould in a building's framework could present a risk to its occupants' health in the future. This is because the spores can become airborne; if this happens, they can then be inhaled by anyone inside the property. Inhalation of mould spores can be particularly dangerous for those who suffer from respiratory problems.
Last but not least, rainwater can result in the development of wet rot, a fungus which will eventually weaken the timber to the point where it can no longer provide the structural support required to keep the building stable.
As such, it really is crucial to protect construction timber from water. There are a few ways to do this. Ideally, the timber should be kept in an indoor storage facility, which is dry and is well-ventilated (to reduce the risk of mould spores developing). If it needs to be brought outside during a period where rain has been forecasted, the timber should be placed on bricks (to prevent the wood from coming into contact with the wet ground) and covered with thick waterproof tarps.
Concrete is frequently used to lay the foundation of a building. Unfortunately, like timber, this material can also be damaged by exposure to rainwater.
Concrete is made up of cement, water and aggregates. The strength of the hardened concrete is heavily dependent on the mixture containing the correct proportions of ingredients.
If concrete which has not yet fully dried out is subjected to multiple heavy downpours, this will result in the mixture having an unsuitably high quantity of water in it. This, in turn, can affect the durability and finish of the concrete after it dries. Pitting, cracking and an uneven finish are common problems associated with rainwater exposure.
To prevent concrete from being damaged by a downpour, it's important to keep an eye on the weather forecast and take preventative measures if rain has been predicted. Creating a canopy of plastic sheeting over fresh concrete should help to reduce the amount of water that comes into contact with it.
If the concrete has begun to cure but is not yet fully hardened, exposure to rainwater should not do permanent damage, provided it is removed from the surface quickly. This can be done with outdoor sweeping brushes and towels.