How acid rain affects plants and animals is something easily understandable. What about its effects on buildings? Can acid have impacts on buildings too?
Unfortunately, acid rain is such a harmful thing that it can ruin beautiful buildings also. The chemicals that acid rain contains can damage objects like buildings, monuments, statues, and cars.
Its components can make paint peel, stone construction appears old, worn down, which reduces the architectural value and beauty.
Want to know more about how acid rain damages buildings?
Well, without wasting time, let’s get down to business.
The Ways How Acid Rain Affects Buildings
Primarily, buildings that are made of limestone and marble are the most affected ones. The damage also includes monuments, headstones, and statues.
Depending on how acidic the rain is, it can obliterate these constructions to a brutal degree.
First, components like sulfurous, sulfuric, and nitric acids mix with air and rain. Then they react with calcite or calcium-based compounds in marble and limestone and dissolve calcite.
The dry depositions of acidic particles contribute severely to the corrosion of construction materials, building paints, stones like marble, limestones, and various granites.
Acid Rain Reduces Life Span
Acid rains aggravate the life value of buildings and architectural structures.
If you think acid precipitation will not affect the sheltered areas of stone buildings and monuments, then you are assuming all wrong.
Nevertheless, covered marble buildings, limestone, and monuments are also victims of blackened crusts and peeling off in many places.
It reveals a crumbling stone beneath. The black crust is mainly composed of gypsum.
Even though gypsum is soluble in water, it reacts with calcite when it contacts sulfuric acid, a mineral.
If the surfaces are exposed to sulfur dioxide, it forms anywhere on carbonate stone surfaces.
Acid rain reacts with building covers such as limestone and marble layers and makes it look degrade. The damages that acid rain does are multiple.
Whether your building is made of marble or limestone, acid rain can ruin the structure through its chemical reaction to construction materials.
In addition to that, the long-term effects of chemical reactions will lead to cracks fissures. These damages will be a threat to water seepage.
How to Maintain A Building
Each acid rain attack will weaken the outer coverings, and the damage reaches even further on the concrete and steel.
Apart from these effects, acid rain’s aggravation also includes dirtying of buildings and various structures.
So, the maintenance cost, repainting cost regularly will increase.
Not only buildings and construction stones are affected by acid rain!
Construction-related materials like bronze, zinc, nickel, copper, and carbon steel also corrode by acidic rainfall.
Many bridges and metal structures are being damaged due to this.
Effects on Marble
As you know, marble is a calcareous type of material. It reacts very sensitively to acids and slowly degrades.
Although marble is not soluble when it comes to regular water, it reacts adversely to acidic water.
Acid rain forms soluble salts and washes away later on. But if this happens for a long time, it will cause cracks and fissures in the outer cover of the building walls.
The components of acid rain, such as sulfuric acid, nitric acid, and carbonic acid, react severely with calcium carbonates, which is the key component of marble.
Regular rainfall contains weak acid. It could take hundreds of years to damage any monument.
But human intervention and releasing a massive amount of toxins into the atmosphere causes acid rain to become more devastating.
Historical Heritage Are Also Affected
Historically, limestone and marble were widely used due to their availability and workability.
That is the reason why previous ancient artisans primarily used these two materials.
But these materials are composed of calcite and calcium carbonate that can quickly be dissolved by acid rain.
Have you heard about the Taj Mahal? You probably did. It is well known for its astonishing construction of marble.
Due to the acid rain, this amazing construction is about to lose its beauty. So, the Indian government moved away two thousand industries which were near Taj Mahal.
Likewise, the Taj Mahal, there are lots of other world heritages which are damaging day by day due to acidic rainfall.
For example, Colosseum in Rome, Westminster Abbey in London are also showing signs of degradation of sulfuric and nitric acids.
So What Else We Can Use for Buildings Construction?
So, seems like there is nowhere to go? Not exactly. We can still manage to use some particular materials for construction works that can resist acidic attacks.
Modern buildings are made of granite. Granite is composed of quartz and feldspar. These silicate minerals can resist the attacks of acid rain from the atmosphere.
Furthermore, Sandstone is another acid rain resistant silica material that we can use.
In addition to that, stainless steel and aluminum can also hold up acid rain better.
But still, these minerals are found in paint and road overlay to get affected to some degree.
The continuous increase in sulfuric and nitric acids is causing more acidic rain to fall. It was known to us that acid rain only harms environmental issues and wildlife.
But there is no denial today about the fact that it also degrades our buildings.
If now, we do not take proper steps to prevent acid rain from increasing, then when? The delay will only add more damages!
Constructing buildings with acid rain resistant materials is not the ultimate solution to this problem.
If we can cut the root off of the production of acid rain, then both the climate and construction will start to recover from this nightmare.