Arab Construction World – June 2010
Built in 1890, Royal Mills near Providence, Rhode Island, USA, once operated one of the world’s busiest hydro-powered cotton mills, including production for “Fruit of the Loom.” In 2004, the mill was purchased with the plan to convert the building into vibrant one- and two-bedroom and loft-style apartments. However, a major fire, 120 years of harsh wet weather, heavy industrial use and neglect from 10 years of vacancy had taken its toll. Royal Mills would need considerable restoration and waterproofing – about 15 percent of the suites had water damage due to leaks in the foundation, windows or walls. The mill’s location on the banks of the river made excavation and external waterproofing impossible.
The developer agreed that Kryton International’s range of crystalline waterproofing products would be the best solution. Kryton’s products were selected because they allowed the building to be waterproofed from the inside out, leaving the building’s beautiful stone exterior intact.
Kryton supplied its Krystol Internal Membrane TM (KIM@), the original integral crystalline concrete waterproofing admixture, to add to the concrete mix used for replacement construction for the floor slabs. To reduce permeability on the interior walls, Krystol Internal Membrane (KIM) was also added to the mortar.
Krystol Internal Membrane is a proprietary admixture, which reacts with cement and water to form millions of needle-shaped crystals. These crystals grow and fill the capillary pores and micro-cracks in the concrete. Although not a replacement for proper external curing, KIM will act as an internal curing agent to help reduce shrinkage and cracking. As time passes and water tries to enter, any new moisture causes the crystals to reactivate and grow until they block the incoming water – ensuring continuous waterproofing over many years.
Kryton’s Krystol Crack Repair SystemTM, which provides both physical and chemical waterproofing barriers, was used on more than 1,000 linear feet of cracks found in the structure. And over the entire exterior of the building – some 250,000 square feet – workers applied Kryton’s Hydrostop, a reactive state-of-the-art water repellent sealer that would not alter the appearance of the mill’s exterior stone walls. Kryton’s Bari-Cote, a waterproofing grout, and Krystol Plug, a rapid-setting hydraulic cement, were also used to waterproof around the windows.
The waterproofing work alone took more than six months, and construction and renovation were completed by mid-2009. Now the building takes its rightful place in the US National Historic Register of buildings, providing elegant and dry homes to 250 families.