Defects diagnosis - A case study involving chemical analysis

J. Douglas, I. J. McEwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Establishing the causes and agencies of building defects is often a difficult and onerous task for any investigator. Various types of chemical analysis can help resolve building problems. In particular, infrared spectroscopy and related analytical methods can be used with great effect in assisting the diagnosis of defects in more complex cases. The limitations as well as the benefits of these techniques for investigating major non-structural building failures, however, needs to be more fully appreciated. A case study example of infrared spectroscopic analysis in helping to resolve a failure in a floor paint system is described in this paper. It suggests that the likely cause of debonding of the coating was a combination of residual moisture in the slab and poor curing/mixing of the two-part paint system. This allowed the formation of bubbles under the coating as a result of osmotic pressure. © 1998 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Building pathology
  • Defects diagnosis
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Osmosis


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