Weather's Effect on Old Buildings Eyed

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Aug. 23 (UPI) — Scottish researchers say they’ve developed a method of forecasting weather damage to historic buildings and statues that could help in their preservation.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have devised a method of forecasting decay caused by weather to stone buildings and statues, monuments and other historic sites, as well as modern masonry buildings, a university release said Monday.

The slow deterioration of buildings is often caused by ground water rising up through the stone then evaporating, leaving crystallized salts on the surface. The impact of ice forming and melting during cold weather can also cause physical damage, researchers say.

This weathering damage can cause damage to monuments and buildings and lead to crumbling or collapse.

Higher temperatures and lower humidity expected with global climate change would come increased rates of evaporation and damage, researchers say.

Scientists at the university’s school of engineering have developed a computer model of water movement within stone, the first of its kind, which will allow for predicting effects of future climate changes.

“This research allows us to predict the effect of climate change on water movement through buildings, enabling engineers to decide on the most appropriate method of preservation in the years ahead,” Andrea Hamilton of the University’s School of Engineering said.

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Categorized | Buildings, Engineering, Other
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