One of the main causes of the deterioration of a building is the degradation of its cladding and internal walls, often caused by inadequate protection during construction. From this perspective, reinforced plaster made with anti-cracking mesh is one of the best building solutions for the consolidation, renovation and structural reinforcement of the facades and interior walls of existing buildings.
In this article, we provide an insight into the contexts of use of anti-cracking mesh with a focus on Cavatorta products.
Anti-cracking mesh: characteristics and contexts of use
The deterioration of a facade or internal wall can be caused by:
- poor quality materials used during construction;
- incorrect plastering work;
- penetration of water and moisture;
- the settling of the building;
- base walls with strong irregularities;
- the use of different types of materials during construction.
The renovation and reinforcement of walls and facades, as well as the restoration of floors, balconies, terraces and screeds, require specific work with containment materials that combats any sagging or detachment and guarantees long-term solidity and resistance.
Reinforced plaster made of anti-cracking mesh is one of the most valid solutions for such building renovations, especially when there are major cracks present due to high stress or marked deterioration.
The purpose of anti-cracking mesh is to evenly distribute stress across the treated surface, thus ensuring adhesion, stability and containing the possible formation of new cracks. Facades, screeds, plasters and concrete castings can be affected by cracking in the first few days after casting due to shrinkage of the mixes used to construct them, because their consistency is still too fresh and soft.
Plasters in particular are vulnerable to the phenomenon of ‘slump’, an uncontrolled downward movement of the mixture that occurs especially when it is not of the right consistency and the surface is insufficiently adherent.
To overcome these problems, anti-cracking mesh is used to prevent the development of cracks by stopping them as soon as they begin to form and intercepting any other cracks that may develop as a result of the natural shrinkage of the material used. The primary function of the mesh is therefore to limit the opening of cracks, minimise any ‘weaknesses’ in the treated surfaces, and ensure stability and resistance to future stresses.
Recovery and reinforcement of deteriorated plasters
For the recovery of degraded plasters, a preventive treatment is required, which is determined on the basis of the compositional material, only after which the reinforcement is applied. For example, in the presence of masonry with strong irregularities, it is especially important to rebuild it where necessary before proceeding to strengthen it with reinforced plaster.
Once the solidity of the base has been ensured, the following steps are taken:
- removal of old plaster and mortar (where present);
- application of the first layer of plaster;
- drilling for the insertion of the connectors of the anti-cracking mesh;
- installation of the anti-cracking mesh;
- application of an additional layer of plaster.
The anti-cracking mesh applied in this way aims to distribute stresses evenly over the entire treated surface, guaranteeing adherence, stability and resistance to impact and wear.
Cavatorta’s anti-cracking mesh
Cavatorta offers two types of high-performance anti-cracking mesh, which are briefly described below.
Electro welded mesh with improved adherence in flat sheets for floors and facades, with-anti cracking and anti-shrinkage functions.
The mesh wires are made of high resistance steel (700-800 N/mm2) and have a surface provided with ribs which prevent the sliding between steel and concrete. Furthermore, the wires are protected by a zinc coating, obtained by means of a hot-dip galvanizing process. All this allows to obtain a screed (or slab) that is smooth, clean and, above all, free from cracks.
Both are ideal for light armouring, with anti-cracking function for tiles, floating and heated pavements, ramps, parking lots, swimming pools, low blocks, terraces, balconies and facades.