We get asked all sorts of questions regarding basement waterproofing and cellar tanking, so we’ve put a selection of the most common ones together for your reference. If you have a question you’d like to ask our basement waterproofing experts , drop us a line here and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can, and add it below.
A: This is a good question, because most people misunderstand and misuse the term ‘tanking’. The clue is in the name and in effect, the method of waterproofing involves making a basement into a waterproof underground ‘tank’ – sort of an inverted water tank. In practice, this can be almost impossible to achieve in an existing building, due to service openings, doors, stairs and complex shapes. The method also relies on very sound surfaces, suitable for application of the material. In addition, in cases of high water tables, the method can result in increased structural stresses (hydrostatic pressure), which may cause the problem to migrate elsewhere or even crack the walls/floors and result in a leak. The methods and materials have their uses though, particularly when combined with other methods and on concrete structures. So usually when clients ask for their cellar or basement to be ‘tanked’ what they mean is waterproofed. We then use our skill and experience to design what type of waterproofing is used – a ‘tank’ is rarely formed these days.
A: If ground water in your basement is the root cause of your damp problem, then yes – although you’ll need a full damp survey to ensure that any water ingress is corrected: we’ll advise on the best system for your basement waterproofing requirements. Waterproofing is designed to stop seepage of water. Damp can refer to mould and decay caused by other factors, such as condensation and rising damp – a survey and a chat on-site to ensure we address all your needs is crucial. Basements are naturally poorly ventilated so often a waterproofing system will need to include improvements in air supply and heating too.
A: Most residential homeowner waterproofing jobs can be completed within a few days to a week or two. However, larger projects can require a longer time on site. We’ll make sure that you’re fully aware of the scope of the project and estimated completion timescales before we get to work. Our team are experienced, hard working and dedicated – meet them here.
A: Hopefully not, but of course it’s a possibility. We can conduct a survey for you to see if you have any problems related to the dampness that need addressing. However, in many cases where there are cracks in basements we will refer you to an experienced and reputable independent structural engineer for further advice.
A: Unfortunately not. While a damp proof course will stop any moisture rising into the walls of your property, it won’t stop the ground moisture from permeating into the basement. This is because a damp proof course works by repelling water – it cannot resist water under pressure from gravity. Sometimes we need to apply waterproofing systems and a damp course, particularly in basements with ground floor access, such as those built into the side of a hill with some ground bearing walls and some free standing ones. Our CSRT qualified surveyors can always help you with this. Call Mike Duckett, Paul Glover or Bryan Hindle for advice.
A: New build waterproofing is our speciality. It’s important to get the waterproofing design agreed at the start of the planning stage. We can assess the plans, design a suitable waterproofing system, and install and guarantee it too. We ensure that the system complies with the national standards required by NHBC (chapter 5.4), and will liaise with your architect to make sure everything complies. Our CSSW (Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing) waterproofing designer will consult BS8102, to ensure everything is done to design the best and most cost-effective solution for your waterproofing project. Have a look at our new home basement waterproofing page and case studies for further information and do please call us for advice.
Well, before any waterproofing is done, there’s obviously a design stage, so strictly speaking I’ve jumped the gun here – going directly to the business of actually waterproofing the building. As with all materials used for type A waterproofing, the preparation is key to success. Skimp on the prep’ and the project will fail. Continue reading