Water penetration, moisture or the inability to get a permanent solution to contain it, simply put, it is a never ending battle to contain it or to keep it out of a property. The main reason are twofold,
1st a vast amount of solvents and acids are dissolvable in water and the ability water has when it rains is to wash the atmosphere as GOD created it, absorbs all the crap we put into the atmosphere, 2nd the low viscosity water has enables it to penetrate microscopic size gaps and will continue until it get to a sold obstacle. Water in itself has a cooling effect end takes 10 fold longer to dry or evaporate from a material than what it took to penetrate that same material. This acidic solution that are close to a stagnant state are dissolving whatever material reacts with it as in the case with the limestone in concrete. Evidence of this deterioration are visible normally on a concrete slab roof in a parking garage in a mall where water drips from the roof and leaves a white powdery substance on the concrete.
The question on how far can water penetrate into a slab? Water entered a slab through the waterproofing layer of a parking deck as the case was at Fourways View, the pressure from the entering water forces the water below it sideways until it reaches a point of exit, in this case the water moved 80 meters from the parking deck around the escalators and exited into the Mediterranean shop on the lower level. The construction on that building was so bad after 2 years of this continues penetration of water the armouring in the slabs started to rust and at some areas the pieces of concrete fell from the roof close or next to the penetration line. As far as I recall the problem was repaired. Point is this deterioration went on to long in the first place and if left untreated it would have destroyed the building in a question of 15 â€“ 20 years
This might seem a long period but remember building maintenance or the lack of takes 5 years plus to even closely show the deteriorating effect, the reality is if the untrained eye detects and realises that there are maintenance due it is 90% of the time to late to do a cost effective repair.
In short that is where the experience of ComSpec Inspect could save you a small fortune over time with advice on preventative maintenance. Moisture are such a wide range that I will be doing to more articles on moisture
Regards, Roald Olivier