Introducing a novel concept of wick drainage in masonry structures

Haroon Yousuf, Mazen J. Al-Kheetan*, Mujib M. Rahman, Seyed Hamidreza Ghaffar, Nuhu Braimah, Denis A. Chamberlain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new line of research is presented in this study where wick drainage technique was implemented in masonry walls. Three different types of wicks, two lignocellulosic natural materials, namely, sisal and jute, and one synthetic, polypropylene were installed on the external side of the walls with the aim of reducing dampness on their interior structure. Two masonry walls with cement and lime mortars were used, and a moisture-blocking material was applied to their surfaces. The physical properties of both walls were thoroughly investigated in terms of moisture content, seepage/retention of water and draining efficiency in the presence of wicks and results were compared with control. Results indicated the ability of wicks to reduce the water content inside the walls with higher efficiency for sisal, followed by jute and polypropylene, respectively. Sisal wicks increased the seepage rate of water to the exterior surface of masonry by 5%, followed by jute and polypropylene wicks with 4% and 3%, respectively. Moreover, sisal wicks remarkably drained over 70% of the supplied water after 14 days of testing. On the other hand, 58%, 53% and 10% of the delivered water was drained by jute wicks, polypropylene wicks and control, respectively. This could be explained by the chemical constituents and morphology of lignocellulosic materials, which are prone to absorb more water.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104332
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Early online date7 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Dampness
  • Lignocellulose
  • Masonry
  • Synthetic
  • Wick drain


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